Yesterday, a long interview made the rounds between Kotaku and Phil Spencer, which contained some pretty random things (Series S can load games faster than Series X due to smaller-scale textures?), But it̵
And that’s probably the closest thing they’re will is going to say it, at least before Series X launches.
The split of the stock market is that Kotaku asked Spencer if they could still get a $ 7.5 billion investment with big games like Elder Scrolls VI, which is does not sold on PlayStation, which will no doubt move 100 million units the next generation.
Spencer replied bluntly, “Yes,” before elaborating:
“This agreement was not made to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was, ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, and not fewer people to be able to play games. But I also want to say in the model – I just answer directly to the question you had when I think about where people should play and the number of devices we had and we have xCloud and PC and games Pass and our console base, I do not need to post these games on any platform other than the platforms we support to make the agreement work for us. Whatever that means. ”
So what does that really mean? What Spencer says without saying it directly is that yes, big games like Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield and what Bethesda is doing next outside of existing offerings in place like with Deathloop will likely be Xbox exclusive.
But the definition of “exclusive Xbox” at this point doesn’t just mean the box. Microsoft is developing the Xbox, especially this generation, to represent an entire ecosystem that includes Game Pass and xCloud streaming. So going forward, the “Xbox” will be considered less like a physical box and more like an entire platform ecosystem like Netflix. As in, you will play your “Xbox exclusive” on actual Xboxes, but also PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, smart TVs and whatever else can run them. Or is willing to run them.
By default, it seems to omit rival consoles like the Nintendo Switch and PS5. I can maybe see Nintendo agrees to run Game Pass / xCloud on the Switch, but Spencer seems to indicate that there may be some issues with it. But Sony? Yes, I do not think so. And so by this definition, no, you will not be able to play the big Bethesda games on PS5 in the future, and Microsoft seems to think they can afford it.
And I mean, they can. Although Microsoft goes down on the Netflix model and spends a lot more on content than they actually bring in, Microsoft is also one of the largest companies in the world and can afford to do such a thing. They want to be Netflix in this space, no matter what it costs, and they want to make Elder Scrolls and Starfield assets for them as Stranger Things and Cobra Kai are for Netflix, a motivating factor in signing up.
But again, don’t expect Phil Spencer to flatten out saying things like “No, Elder Scrolls and Fallout and Starfield will not be on PlayStation in the future.” It would play too much into the narrative of console warfare, which Spencer says he hates, even though it is literally the action that will most likely be taken to better place Microsoft in this market. It’s just business. And yes, that will likely continue to be the case some Bethesda games that find their way to other consoles, but I definitely expect Microsoft to save the biggest releases for the Xbox ecosystem so they can at least try to match Sony and Nintendo for exclusive parity, which has been the Xbox’s biggest problem in three generations now.
We will learn more about all of this after the launch of these new consoles when the gloves really come off. For now, this is the most we hear about the case.
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