Could Xbox be going multiformat? That’s what many insiders would have you believe, and we might get an official announcement regarding the matter next week.
Rumours have been abound for the last couple of weeks about numerous Xbox console exclusive titles making their way to PlayStation and even Switch. First there was Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves, then Starfield, and now Indiana Jones and perhaps even Halo. Going back a little further, however, the initial sign that things might be changing behind the scenes at Xbox was its reticence to confirm that the recently announced Marvel’s Blade was Xbox console exclusive.
With discussion around Xbox potentially going multiformat reaching fever pitch on social media, all eyes were on CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, to address the situation. Yesterday, he informed his X followers that a business update event is being planned for next week, and that the company looks forward to sharing more details about its vision for the future of Xbox. You can see his post below.
While Phil Spencer’s X post doesn’t confirm that Xbox is going multiformat at this stage, it does indicate that there is perhaps a major change of strategy. And there’s no smoke without fire. Next week we might indeed discover that various Xbox first-party games will be making their way to competitor’s consoles, then. And to be honest, it makes sense.
We imagine exclusivity will be decided on a case-by-case basis, with many titles making their way to other formats after a year or so. When it comes to titles such as Marvel’s Blade, however, where no doubt Disney and Microsoft expects a decent return on investment, they might be multi-format from day one. The problem is, some will then ask: what’s the point of owning an Xbox console? The answer is Game Pass.
While you’ll be able to buy Xbox games on other formats, an actual Xbox console will likely remain the only place where you can play them all with one subscription. Game Pass is, and will likely remain, one of the best deals in gaming, and it’s unlikely to ever be available on Sony or Nintendo platforms. So, while the need to own an Xbox console will definitely be diminished, it certainly won’t be ruled out altogether for those who invested in Game Pass subscription service.
In any case, we’ll find out more next week.