Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has dismissed any notions of bringing Xbox Game Pass to other consoles like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch because Sony and Nintendo aren’t interested in a new interview with GamesRadar.
One of the strategies that Xbox has adopted since the launch of the Xbox Series X|S consoles is open accessibility of games with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming. The subscription service, bundled with its cloud gaming counterpart, is currently available on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles as well as being available through web browsers in select territories.
The message is clear: Xbox doesn’t care where you play your games, as long as you’re subscribed to its services. Of course, in the landscape of gaming, PlayStation and Nintendo still hold a large number of users in their own ecosystems that Xbox would want their services to reach. One of the possibilities for that to happen would be to offer its services on top of PlayStation and Nintendo console storefronts, which is a tricky thing.
“You know, it’s the right question because people usually ask me about releasing one individual game or another,” said Spencer when asked about the possibility of bringing the Xbox gaming experience to other consoles.
“And what I say is I want the full Xbox experience to be something that we deliver. We have no plans to bring it to any other kind of closed platforms right now, mainly because those closed platforms don’t want something like Game Pass. There’s a ton of open platforms out there for us to grow in: the web, PC, and mobile. So all of our focus, frankly, is on those platforms.”
While it sounds like Xbox’s services will stay exclusive to the PC and its consoles for the most part, that doesn’t mean that Spencer has given up trying to bring Xbox Game Pass to other platforms.
“In the end, when we say we want everybody to be able to play on Xbox, we really mean if we can bring that full experience to a device that players want, we are totally open to those discussions.”
Spencer raises some interesting points about accessibility in games, particularly on how expensive it is to get into it. With the rising cost of games, services like Xbox Game Pass make gaming more affordable, even if it comes with its own downsides. If Xbox can’t get its services on to other platforms, then making its own entry points cheaper seems to be a logical option. Spencer said that they want to bring the Xbox gaming experience and its services to as many people as possible, which currently can only happen on more open platforms which may not have their own ecosystems and storefronts. Of course, exceptions can be made, such as with the upcoming Steam Deck, which while having its own storefront is being positioned as an open platform.
The effects of Xbox Game Pass in India has also been acknowledged by the company before.
“Xbox Game Pass makes gaming more accessible across console and PC in India… We’ve seen members discovering and playing in the service–members play 40 percent more games than before and 30 percent more genres. Developers have continued to see success with Xbox Game Pass too, driving higher levels of engagement and new opportunities for our partners,” said Microsoft to IGN India.