The weekend was busy for video game fans — and it looks like there's something big coming. According to rumors, which have been gaining more and more strength in recent days, the Xbox may release its exclusives on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles at some point in the future. But why would the North American giant expand its catalog into competing territories?
Rumors began to emerge on the networks in January 2024, when the insider Nate the Hate stated that Microsoft will release, later this year, one of its “most acclaimed original games on a competitor's system” — which many believe to be Hi-Fi Rushfrom Tango Gameworks.
Hi-Fi Rush could soon arrive on PlayStation and Nintendo.Source: Epic Games
Jeff Grubb, a journalist and very well-connected industry insider, corroborated the information from Nate the Hatestating that he was also aware of the potential arrival of Sea of Thieves to rival consoles.
Now, last weekend, this possible catalog of Xbox exclusives coming to PlayStation increased even more. According to the XboxEra, Starfield on PS5 it could also be a reality in the future.
Almost at the same time, the The Verge published another report, stating that it was aware of the potential debut of game of Indiana Jones on PS5. And if you think it ended there, you are very mistaken.
In a publication on X (formerly Twitter), journalist Jez Corden, from Windows Centralalso stated, based on his sources, that the catalog of Xbox exclusives on PlayStation will be even bigger. Some of the names mentioned by him include DOOM Year Zero, Flight Simulator, Halo Infinite, Grounded It is Pentiment, which would “eventually” arrive on the Sony console. Have you ever imagined playing with Master Chief on a PS5? This can come true.
Acquisitions and more acquisitions
So far, Microsoft has not officially commented on these rumors. However, considering the large number of sources talking about the subject, this has considerable potential to become reality. But why would the North American giant launch its exclusives on PS5?
Well, some of the company's decisions in recent years can answer this question — which many fans of the brand are probably asking themselves at the moment. Clear, The next few lines are just speculation, so don't take anything literally.
Microsoft may launch Xbox exclusives on PlayStation and Nintendo.Source: Xbox
One of the reasons that could lead the company to give up exclusives on Xbox consoles to reach a larger audience is bills to pay. Microsoft has made major acquisitions in recent years and, because of the billion-dollar investment, it needs to deliver results for its investors.
A few years ago, Microsoft didn't have as much caliber to go head to head with Nintendo and PlayStation exclusives, so it began a wave of acquisitions of first-party studios to launch new IPs and not just depend on properties like Halo It is Gears of War. It was in this endeavor that names such as Starfield and other future premieres — such as Avowed, Perfect Dark, Indiana Jones is the new Fable.
Then came the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, in one of the largest negotiations in history — around US$70 billion. This purchase was a little more complex, but ended up happening under the condition that the publisher's main properties, such as Call of Duty, Overwatch and many others, were not exclusive to Xbox.
Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for more than $70 billion.Source: Xbox
During a conference at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit in November 2023, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Tim Stuart explained that maintaining The secret Xbox sales figures reflect the company's current strategy.
At the time, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox Game Studios, did not praise the company's consoles, but rather the Game Pass ecosystem, the company's game subscription service. “Console sales do not reflect how healthy our ecosystem is,” explained the executive.
While Game Pass is apparently more important than console sales for Microsoft, they have also stopped reporting subscription numbers for the service since January 2022. According to unofficial information, the service reportedly has over 30 million of users currently.
While Xbox consoles are part of Microsoft's strategy, the company also offers Game Pass on PC and via the cloud, on cell phones and Smart TVs. Subscription benefits like direct-to-launch games are available across all platforms, which made desktop and cloud as important as the Xbox Series S and X in the company's final math.
However, as the installed base of Xbox consoles is not as large as its competitors, the company may be considering launching its games on PS5 and Switch to reach a larger audience and, consequently, increase profits. After all, making a AAA game isn't cheap, as PlayStation's own numbers show.
Why would Microsoft release Xbox exclusives on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles?
There are no clear indications that the games mentioned above will literally be released through Game Pass on other platforms, as Sony will possibly not allow its biggest rival's service in its home. Apparently, the games in question should reach the PlayStation and Switch at full price, being sold in the digital stores of each platform.
Phil Spencer praised the Game Pass ecosystem at a recent conference.Source: Xbox
In some cases, such as Sea of Thieves It is Grounded, the argument is that they are multiplayer experiences that could receive a considerable player base with this market expansion. But is Hi-Fi Rush, Indiana Jones and so many other singleplayer games? What would be the justification?
According to speculation, Microsoft is considering adopt a temporary exclusivity system for the Xbox ecosystem. That is, games like Indiana Jones may first arrive on Xbox and PC consoles, directly on Game Pass. After a set time, the company must then release the title on competing platforms, such as the PS5, at full price.
Considering that Hi-Fi Rush was launched in January last year and could be the first of the titles to become multiplatform, the tendency is for the temporary exclusivity to last at least a year. However, this is just speculation.
In any case, the strategy is within current market standards. Sony itself, for example, plays a similar role with its exclusives and the PC. Games like God of War (2018), Days Gone It is Horizon Zero Dawn they hit the market as PlayStation exclusives, but later appeared on the computer to increase their sales numbers.
Can this strategy work? He can. And an example of this is Palworld: the biggest gaming success of 2024 arrived directly on Game Pass on PC and Xbox Series S and X consoles, reaching more than 7 million users in just a few days. The indie game will possibly be released on the PS5 in the future, but before that, it managed to secure good money for the Xbox.
With temporary exclusivity, Microsoft guarantees assets for the Game Pass catalog and an “advantage” for the Xbox Series S and X, while it can also earn more money by selling games at full price on the PS5.
Will Xbox consoles die?
The biggest concern with this multiplatform approach ends up being the future of the Xbox Series S and X consoles. After all, if games that were previously exclusive to the platform will reach the PS5, why purchase a product from the Series line?
In this hypothetical scenario, perhaps the company will bet on the “convenience” of the platform as a differentiator. After all, while PS5 players will have some Microsoft games at full price after a while, it will be possible to play on Xbox consoles beforehand and “without paying anything” with Xbox Game Pass.
The Xbox Game Studios division is led by Phil Spencer.Source: Xbox
While the move is risky, the release of Xbox games on PS5 and Switch could ensure considerable “extra income” for Microsoft. After all, Sony's new console has sold more than 50 million units, while Nintendo's platform has already surpassed the mark of 130 million products delivered to the public. Is it worth giving up exclusivity to try to reach so many consumers? Only time will tell that.
It is interesting to note that a similar movement also occurs in the streaming market. Netflix, the isolated leader in the market, started receiving series from Paramount+ and HBO Max last year. With this movement, competitors give up the exclusivity of some content, but earn money from licensing and also showcase their products to a large audience, increasing the chances of gaining new subscribers.
While everything is still quite hazy, we now have to wait for an official statement from Microsoft on the matter. What is your opinion about the launch of Xbox exclusives on PlayStation? Comment on social media Voxel!