Potentially one of the biggest shakeups in modern gaming could be taking place
Well, here we are.
After a ton of rumors and supposed leaks over the last few weeks, this past weekend brought some of the most potentially wide-reaching in recent memory. Since the beginning of the year, hints that more Microsoft developed games coming to “rival” platforms have been dropping regularly. First, rumblings that Sea of Thieves could land on PlayStation made waves, and then soon after Hi-Fi Rush found itself in the same boat (pirate ship?) with a potential drop on PlayStation and Switch. Then, graphical details were discovered in a recent Hi-Fi Rush update that seemingly confirmed in-game shirts related to the different platforms.
And then this weekend happened, in which the floodgates seemingly opened. Based on conversations throughout the Press, both Starfield and Indiana Jones & the Great Circle were added to the “probably going to PlayStation list.” On Monday, SideQuesting super fan Jeff Grubb reported that he had heard rumblings of the Gears of War franchise coming to the rival console. Microsoft-owned Minecraft continues to be a mainstay on rival platforms, and post-Activision merger Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation as well as make a return to Nintendo. Thanks to a recent ruling, Gamepass streaming looks like it will have a more formal place on mobile platforms, too. Microsoft has repeatedly stated that it wants to get its games on as many platforms as possible, so this isn’t necessarily a new direction.
What seems to be irking the hardest of hardcore Xbox fanatics is that the company seems to be shifting away from exclusivity on its own consoles and heading towards a console-less future. The company recently axed a good chunk of its physical disc sales group in recent layoffs, and first party Xbox games are becoming sparse in retail and/or being pulled from shelves.
The biggest factor is money. The streaming industry is going through its Winter right now in terms of understanding that it can’t function the way it has been for the last decade, and Microsoft as the first real publisher to be successful with a subscription model is also the first to go through a similar trend. The company has to recoup the costs associated with all these games hitting their peaks on Gamepass.
With the drumbeat hitting a crescendo over the weekend, in sync with the Grammys, it seemed like a statement was inevitable. That statement finally came on Monday afternoon:
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has announced that next week all will revealed according to what the future of the Xbox business will become. The mini-statement is so sparse that it doesn’t deny any of the rumors — in fact, it essentially gives off the general vibe that yes, what you heard is likely true.
We’ll find out more (at some point) next week.