Phil Spencer says there's "no fundamental change" to Xbox exclusivity plans

Phil Spencer says there's "no fundamental change" to Xbox exclusivity plans
Images courtesy of Microsoft

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


15th Feb 2024 20:38

After what's felt like weeks of reports and leaks, Microsoft's Xbox Business Update edition of the Official Xbox Podcast has finally aired.

The show, featuring Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, President of Xbox Sarah Bond, and Head of Xbox Game Studios, finally aired today as the company looks to clear up concerns that the tech giant is leaving console gaming behind and going the way of SEGA's Dreamcast with a full multiplatform release slate.

Xbox isn't going anywhere

You can watch the episode below:

As part of the broadcast, Spencer says there is "no fundamental change to how we [Xbox] think about exclusivity", suggesting that console exclusives are likely to diminish in the long term.

Booty also acknowledged that "big games like a Roblox or a Fortnite could actually be bigger than any one platform, and that really has changed the way that we think about things", before reaffirming that all first-party games will be on Xbox, and come to Game Pass on Day One.

Game Pass will also only be available on Xbox, and in case that wasn't clear, an accompanying blog post says as much.

Four Xbox games are coming to other platforms

Grounded key art
Click to enlarge

While the Xbox leadership team confirmed the likes of Starfield and the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle would not be moving to other platforms at this stage, Spencer did acknowledge it can't be ruled out as a future move.

Still, PlayStation and Nintendo owners looking to play something fresh from Microsoft's stable of releases will seemingly get just that when four unannounced games move over.

While Spencer wouldn't confirm which four titles are breaking free of the Microsoft ecosystem, The Verge is reporting that the four titles in question are Sea of Thieves, Pentiment, Grounded, and Hi-Fi Rush.

"We're making these decisions for specific reasons," Spencer explained on the podcast, and noted that "when they come out, it'll make sense".

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Spencer also noted that the games in question would be live-service titles looking to grow their player base (which presumably would be Sea of Thieves and Grounded), and smaller titles that the development teams were passionate about and that have "reached their potential" on Xbox and PC.

As for consoles, Bond suggested more console options are coming.

There’s some exciting stuff coming out in hardware that we’re going to share this holiday, and we’re also invested in the next-generation roadmap”, she explained in the podcast.

And what we’re really focused on there is delivering the largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation, which makes it better for players and better for creators and the visions that they’re building.”

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.

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