The walled gardens of console hardware platforms are gradually coming down. Whether it’s cross-play allowing gamers on all systems to compete against each other, or streaming services bringing top titles to anyone with a screen in front of them, it’s beginning to matter less which system you have hooked up to your television set.
However, some things remain sacred and that includes the console exclusives the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo rely upon to shift PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles.
Despite some concessions from Microsoft in recent times, including this week’s announcement that first-party game Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition will become available on Nintendo Switch, further Xbox games won’t be going behind enemy lines to arrive on PlayStation and Switch hardware.
In a statement given to GamesIndustry.biz, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios.
“As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross-play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience.”
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So, that means the only way non Xbox gamers will be able to play the array of first-party Xbox exclusive titles like Forza, Halo, Gears of War and more will be through the forthcoming xCloud streaming service.
It’s unlikely we’ll see an xCloud app on the Sony PlayStation 4 (or 5), although Microsoft’s relationship with Nintendo is far more cordial and xCloud could arrive on the Switch. The pair have teamed-up to tease Sony over its reluctance to embrace cross-network play, while Cuphead (pictured) was released for the Switch last year.