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Phil Spencer Looks at Xbox Rivals to Help Boost Performance

During Microsoft’s big business meeting, Xbox’s Phil Spencer shed some light on the future of the brand and especially, its multiplatform direction. We know Microsoft has been moving away from hardware for a few years now as the company looks at Xbox Game Pass as its platform but recently, that hasn’t been enough.

Recent reports revealed that Microsoft’s gaming revenue was lower than expected and if you take away the Activision Blizzard acquisition, the division poorly performed in 2023 across software and hardware.

Phil Spencer revealed that four Xbox-exclusive games are headed to PlayStation and Nintendo as a result of these changes. Soon, other console owners will be able to play Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Grounded and Sea of Thieves.

Launching these games on rival platforms is just the start of what looks like a multiplatform future for Xbox. While Phil Spencer did not confirm other Xbox games at the time, he also explicitly stated that we should not rule out future Xbox games launching on rival consoles too.

I don’t think we should as an industry ever rule out a game going to any other platform. We’re focused on these four games and learning from the experience. But I don’t want to create a false expectation on those other platforms that this is somehow the first four to get over the dam and then the dam’s going to open and that everything else is coming, that’s not the plan today. I also don’t want to mislead customers on those other platforms. We’re launching these four games, and we’re excited about it. We’re excited about the announce and everything else, but we’ll see what happens for our business.

While a multiplatform move sounds exciting, it also comes with its own risks. Xbox does face the threat of becoming like SEGA if the company adopts a software-only future. Phil Spencer assured Xbox fans that new hardware is still in development and an entirely new next-gen console is coming their way too. He also hinted at a possible handheld device.

That doesn’t mean everything is okay at Microsoft. The multiplatform agenda still smells like panic as the company’s recent lineup of games proves that Game Pass isn’t enough to keep the Xbox brand going. The division needs actual game sales – enter the rival consoles.

In an attempt to generate extra revenue for the Xbox division, these four games will likely be the start of things to come. PlayStation and Nintendo gamers spend money on new titles and the opportunity to sell the likes of Hi-Fi Rush to 54 million PS5 gamers means Microsoft can make bank.

As a result of these sales, Microsoft can then focus on supporting game creation and funding larger projects.

We know the company went on a buying spree a few years back raking up multiple studios in an attempt to build its first-party lineup. We have yet to see these fruits but hopefully, all this new revenue stream helps improve the quality of these upcoming games while also offering the opportunity for rival console owners to purchase them.

Phil Spencer says that will likely be the case. He mentioned that we should not ever rule out a game going to any platform. At the moment, Xbox is focused on these four games as a testing ground. If they perform well, we might see the likes of Indiana Jones on PS5 alongside Xbox.

The recent business stream still feels like Microsoft is unsure of what it wants to do. Either that or the company is playing its cards very carefully and not revealing the real intentions behind these moves.

The facts are Microsoft needs revenue and the Game Pass ecosystem it built isn’t enough. People aren’t buying Xbox consoles either because of the PC agenda the company built for itself. Not to mention the Xbox Series S, which was deemed as the 1440p console, has aged poorly over the years and resulted in some games running at 480p. This doesn’t attract gamers, it deters them.

Whether these four games will prove to be a success on other platforms is unclear yet. I also doubt Microsoft will launch four games and call it a day. There’s definitely a future for Xbox on PlayStation and Nintendo.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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