Microsoft still wants to put Xbox Game Pass on your PS5 and Switch
The banners are flying high, and like an episode of Game of Thrones, the Green Team is marching on PlayStation's stronghold. Blood has already been spilt, as Microsoft got its long-gestated Activision Blizzard deal over the line, and now, it wants to stick the knife deeper into Sony's gut.
Subscription services are everywhere, and whether it's Netflix and Disney duking it out, Spotify vs Apple Music, or Game Pass taking on PlayStation Plus, the latter is hardly a fair fight. Xbox's gaming service eclipse's PlayStation offering, and now, the Greens want to deliver the ultimate middle finger by putting Game Pass on your PlayStation,
Xbox has big plans for Game Pass on Nintendo and Sony platforms
While there were originally some questions about the Game Pass business model, it's now making bank. Windows Central recently reported that Microsoft is set to overtake Sony's revenue for the first time ever in 2023, with the likes of the ABK deal and Game Pass helping it to move into second place - behind Tencent.
With Game Pass poised to expand, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart has given us a peek behind the curtain at Microsoft's strategy. Speaking at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit (via GameSpot), Stuart said he wants to see Game Pass and Xbox's first-party games on "every screen that can play games."
Making it clear that he means "every screen," Stuart included Nintendo and Sony consoles: "It's a bit of a change of strategy. Not announcing anything broadly here, but our mission is to bring our first-party experiences [and] our subscription services to every screen that can play games.
"That means smart TVs, that means mobile devices, that means what we would have thought of as competitors in the past like PlayStation and Nintendo." Alongside first-party games and advertising, Game Pass is described as a "high margin" business.
Game Pass isn't cheap, but it's worth it for Microsoft
Despite the margins being high, Game Pass doesn't come without its costs. Earlier this year, an internal email between Xbox Vice President Sarah Bond, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Stuart (and others) gave ballpark figures for the expected cost of bringing third-party games to Game Pass.
Alongside an estimated $250 million to put Mortal Kombat 1 and the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, there was a jaw-dropping $12-$15 million A MONTH to have GTA V on there. Hence Rockstar's automotive adventure has come and gone from Game Pass. Still, you have to spend money to make money.
Apparently, Game Pass generated a beefy $2.9 billion for Microsoft in 2021. That falls far short of the record-breaking $68.7 billion the Activision Blizzard deal cost, but then again, that includes the might of the CoDverse. With rumbles about Call of Duty on Game Pass, most think it was well worth the moolah.
It's clear that Microsoft has no plans to slow down its Game Pass rollout, and while it's pitched as a good thing, we imagine Sony won't see it that way. After all, the Blue Team reportedly tried to block Game Pass on PlayStation. Trying to put Game Pass on every screen will only reignite concerns that Xbox is aiming for total gaming domination.