Why Microsoft would be smart to bring Xbox Game Pass to Nintendo Switch

Minecraft Nintendo Switch
Minecraft Nintendo Switch (Image credit: Windows Central)

In the console-war world, fanboys/girls of all stripes still rage over hardware sales and figures, pouring over who "won" the NPD Group sales race in the U.S. When in reality, a major upheaval could be on the way for console gaming, as tech heavyweights Google and Amazon are gearing up for their grand entrances. The landscape, and what determines "success," is going to look very different as a result. These cloud-oriented giants are not beholden to any platform or plastic box, and that could give them a major advantage over platforms that still confine themselves to a specific hardware ecosystem.

There are rumors Microsoft will soon put more of its exclusive titles onto other systems, as the company already does with Minecraft. By far the company's most successful game, Minecraft has been described to me by Microsoft sources as a "business unto itself," owing to the licensing empire and its completely platform-agnostic nature. This is ultimately the future of gaming, with access to software and services completely circumventing (but not replacing) the need to sell console hardware.

Here's why Xbox Game Pass hitting other systems would be smart.

Xbox Game Pass on Switch?

Xbox Game PAss

For $9.99 a month, Game Pass gives you access to dozens of quality games. (Image credit: Microsoft)

I've been hearing for almost a year that Microsoft was aiming to put Xbox Game Pass on Nintendo Switch, and even PlayStation 4, though at first, I didn't believe what I was hearing. At a surface-level, why would Microsoft want to reduce its own console business by removing the need to buy Xbox hardware to play Xbox games? Well, Microsoft has already committed to putting Xbox exclusives on PC, and despite that, Xbox hardware sales have continued to trend upwards, because Xbox One X is truly the best place to play many of those big-name multiplatform titles in 4K.

The thing is, this rumor wouldn't exactly be news, if it panned out. Xbox head Phil Spencer said last year in (via GameSpot) that this has always been the plan:

So we built Xbox Game Pass – it started on console, it will come to PC, and eventually it will come to every device – we use the flywheel that we have with customers on an Xbox to start the growth in Xbox Game Pass. But as somebody sitting back and taking a longer-term view of where our business is going, you should look at that as a business model that we think scales to billions of people not hundreds of millions of people like retail does.

I've also heard games like Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead may be test-cases for the new Xbox Live SDK for third-party developers, which will facilitate Xbox Live-services on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, features which were previously restricted to Microsoft internal titles like Minecraft.

The source of this recent rumor is a relatively small YouTube Channel with a few thousand subscribers, but it caught fire because if you've been following what Microsoft has been doing in this space recently, it could be a no-brainer.

Wait. But WHY?

Project xCloud

Project xCloud (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's ambitions have shifted away from the small slice of the gaming industry that represents home consoles. The big players, namely TenCent, prioritize mobile as their platform du jour and reach insanely huge audiences as a result. When you think of Xbox competing with Sony's PlayStation, Microsoft as a company is really competing with large tech corporations like Google and Amazon, which are gearing up their own sizable cloud platforms for game-streaming services of their own. If Microsoft's sits around doing nothing, competing with PlayStation on the small scale, Google and Amazon could muscle in and eat their lunch. This is about long-term thinking.

In 2019, 5G wireless connections are going to begin rolling out across Microsoft's traditional market territories, and while it could take years for the super-charged wireless speeds to truly proliferate, they ultimately will. Microsoft, with its own Project xCloud game streaming service, will be ready and poised to take advantage of this wireless revolution, which should make streaming 1080p gaming to any device, anywhere, a reality.

It would be irresponsible of Microsoft to not explore putting its services on other platforms given the threat from Google and Amazon. Why spend hundreds of millions, maybe billions, trying to build a home console service when they can just put their services on existing platforms? And sure, maybe this whole streaming thing doesn't take off. Blockbuster video (RIP) said the same thing about Netflix.

The point? It most likely will take off.

But OMG what about Xbox hardware?

Xbox One X, Xbox One S

Xbox One X, Xbox One S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Xbox hardware isn't going away. There are more engineers, more developers, and more investments going into making Xbox hardware and accessories than ever before, and simply having a home console experience and install base in addition to a large external service audience is going to give Microsoft an advantage.

Every single damn time Microsoft mentions Project xCloud, they always bring up "future Xbox hardware" which should serve as a large billboard to anyone worried or concerned about Xbox hardware falling by the wayside. Much like how Microsoft built up and enjoys having a high-quality line of Surface products to showcase the best of Windows, they will continue to build up an industry-leading line of home consoles to showcase the best of Xbox gaming.

This is an Anaconda, and he loves Xbox consoles.

This is an Anaconda, and he loves Xbox consoles.

Microsoft is working on multiple next-gen Xbox consoles, according to our sources. Under the codename "Scarlett," its double SKU strategy will come with the codename "Lockhart," aiming to be the lowest-price entry to next-gen consoles, and codename "Anaconda," which Microsoft hopes will become the obvious choice for gamers wanting the most powerful home console, outside of highly-expensive custom Windows PC rigs.

Flagship products, including high-quality Surface hardware and Xbox hardware, drive what the industry calls a "halo effect" across their product ecosystem, which solidifies consumer loyalty. Microsoft isn't about to sacrifice the goodwill it has built up over the years as a leader in the console space simply because it is exploring 1080p streaming to mobile devices, nor is it going to abandon its customers who simply want that experience.

No downsides

The console-faithful are already crying doom and gloom over this whole scenario because they can't see the bigger picture. Microsoft would be missing out on a huge opportunity if it didn't chase at least some degree of platform agnosticism.

Microsoft would miss a huge opportunity by not exploring platform agnosticism.

When Microsoft presented Office for iPad, it was a huge deal, because for years Microsoft had tried to use Office to force its customers to choose Windows above all other platforms. By opening up Office to every platform, Microsoft has effectively destroyed competition from Google Docs and similar competitors. Office now remains a mammoth part of Microsoft's diverse business, because of that forward-facing decision.

That said, Microsoft also failed to bring decent mobile hardware and OSes of its own to market fast enough, pushing it into a corner with Office. They're also facing stiff competition from Google's Chromebook platform in the education space because Microsoft didn't bring out cheaper alternatives fast enough.

Microsoft doesn't have to make the same mistakes with Xbox, which is why they'll continue to invest in both hardware and services. That's why Lockhart will compete on the affordable end, Anaconda will compete on the high-end, and xCloud will compete with Google and Amazon for customers who probably weren't going to buy Xbox hardware anyway. Microsoft needs to bring its services to other platforms, because anywhere they aren't present, is a foothold for its competitors to gain, and potentially win.

At the end of the day, all of the cash Microsoft would make with this agnostic push will be reinvested in gaming, its customers, and the growth of the platform. There would be absolutely no downsides.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

66 Comments
  • This is definately going to happen. No smoke without fire. This has to be the biggest news in gaming for decades. The future whether anyone likes it or not is service based gaming. What MS is doing is getting out in front of it. Just like Netflix did with TV and movies. Google and Amazon are both entering this space. And are the absolute main competitors moving forward. Not Sony or Nintendo. But doing this also keeps Nintendo relevant for them moving into the service Era. Nintendo don't have the infrastructure to do it, and neither does Sony. This way Nintendo gets presumably free access to Azure servers and MS open up Gamepass and Xcloud to possibly 100 million switch owners over the coming years. Xbox consoles are still there for those that want 4K high fidelity 60 inch cinematic gaming also. But at the same time you can play MS games on the go as well. Absolutely genius move. I may get a switch/Xbox 2 combo now. Whereas before I was leaning PS5/Xbox 2. This won't be hitting PS consoles though. All the other rumors around the internet don't mention anything about PS consoles. Only an alliance between Nintendo and MS. Xbox 2 is in direct competition with PS5. It's not with Switch. Nintendo have been doing different since the Wii.
  • Exactly. It's good for people in the Xbox ecosystem too, more cash = more investment = more growth = more games = more devs.
  • Precisely. Exactly the Point.
  • @ Jez
    How about the equation less people on Xbox ecosystem = less cash = money loss = less games = less devs?
    That's not what I'm hoping because I always want more games above anything else, but it's a possibility that besides the faithful MS/XB fans most people will buy PS/Switch and only rent the few XB games that they are interested in.
  • I fail to see how less people will be in the ecosystem, if that ecosystem is to open up to millions more gamers that wouldn't have had the option before. With more studios all bringing exclusives to Gamepass going forward. And more Studios being bought this year, Xbox could have 4 exclusives per year going to Gamepass with 4 years Dev time for every game based off of 16 First party studios going forward. Be good to see if I/O interactive runour comes true at E3 as well.
  • When I talk about being in an ecosystem, I talk about people who will buy the XB console. Those who will buy most of their games on XB, those who'll be subscribed to gold...
    I don't talk of the guy who games on switch/PS or PC and who will rent the occasional XB game. The rest of your post is just Richard trying to predict the future so I'll ignore that...
  • But basing console sales as the measure is old. With Google and Amazon also entering the scene with no localised hardware except for streaming boxes, we will now have 3 companies with the actual worldwide server ability to deliver streaming potential. And MS are making sure they have an advantage by having a big first party allocation. Not to go against Sony. That's yesterday's news. It's to go up against Google and Amazon. Sony don't have the worldwide server Infrastructure to compete with these 3. Which is why you have heard recently Sony executives trying to downplay streaming. They think it's years away. While Google, Amazon and MS all know it isn't. Those 3 companies have been building their server infrastructures for the last 15 years. And in MS case even spent the last 5 years designing the code so that high latency code runs locally on whatever hardware your using Xcloud on.
  • Yeah right. MS decided midway through the gen that they won't talk about console sales most probably because they were getting humilated by the PS4.
    They will only communicate on things that makes them look good. They will even talk about sales when it favors them.
    Remember when the Xb1s won 4 NPD in a row? Or that other time when XB1x was the fastest selling XB in history?
    How much have we heard about this from MS and their fanboys. I guess console sales matters only when the XB is doing well... LOL The rest of your post is you making wild predictions. I'll just ignore that... Oh also could you reply this? You do this so often. You make a post and then just ran away.
    https://forums.windowscentral.com/showthread.php?t=484967&p=3774683&view...
  • It's not wild. If Streaming isn't a thing. Why is Google and Amazon the only 2 companies in the world who can try and take Azure on entering the Video game space now? https://www.pocket-lint.com/games/news/google/143589-what-is-google-yeti... As I said, Sony can try and deflect this as much as possible. But it's happening. And now they have 3 big boys with worldwide servers against them. I actually believe what Nintendo get out of joining with MS is possibly free access to Azure?? It keeps Nintendo relevant moving into the streaming Era. Something they could not achieve on their own. Will it mean Sony won't sell consoles. No not at all. But they will start to dwindle over the next generation. What 7 years? Its clear at this point, Sony know what's coming from the giants. And I honestly don't think they know how to address that. It would cost them billions upon billions to try and get Gaikai even half of what those companies have already server wise. And time. Something they don't have in that space.
  • The problem with your post is your just bringing rumours and making assumptions and making wild claims of what the future will be like. I really don't discuss the future. And even more with someone who makes wild claims like how PUBG would never come on PS4 or how city city skylines would never come on PS4 or won't come before few years... Honestly it's really funny when MS/XB "fans" talk about the future.
    In 2010 & 2011, I was told that I was the controller and kinect was the future of gaming.
    In 2012, Xbox SmartGlass was the new ways of playing. It was suppose to be the future of gaming and entertainment. :)
    In 2013, it was about the POWER of the CLOUD! That was suppose to be the future of gaming. In 2019 we finally witness that power...
    Also in 2013, it was back to kinect being the future. The XB1 was the hub of entertainment and gaming.
    In 2015, it was about Hololens and AR. Ofc that was the future of gaming and of so many other things. Still waiting for that one.
    Also in 2015, playing old gen games on your next gen console became the "new" way of playing games...
    In 2017-2018, power and resolution were the most important thing in gaming. Also making games was not really important... Sorry, but I'll just wait for the future to happen.
  • "This has to be the biggest news in gaming for decades."
    I doubt that you have been following gaming news for decades...
  • Considering my first foray into video games was Commodore 64. I'd say I have been gaming since before most people. First ever game played was Horace goes Skiing.
  • So how old are you?
  • 35. 36 in May. My dad had a C64 late 80s. I got my first Nes in 1990. Snes in 92. N64 in 97, PS1 in 99. Dreamcast in 2000. GameCube, 2001. PS2 2002. XBOX 2002. 360 2005, ps3 2012. XBOX One 2013. PS4 2018.
  • It would be great for both. Microsoft would have a perfect showcase device for mobile gaming which is already widely used and Nintendo could attract more core gamer. Project XCloud on the Switch would be great.
  • Microsoft should buy Nintendo and have done with it.
    Buy EA while they're at it merge them with Xbox game studios and the EA/Xbox game passes.
    Make it all exclusive Xbox titles, then release them on the new Xbox Switch and Xbox DS, Xbox one and PC.
  • LOL... Now that will be something to behold 👍
  • I don't see it ever coming to PlayStation though. They are direct competitors. And besides. Most gamepass titles are on PlayStation too. So you would be paying only for Xbox exclusives. Which is fine but how many people would do that? And it's also in competition with PSNow. They wouldn't even allow EA Access. and then there's the whole Crossplay thing. If they wouldn't even allow crossplay then there's no way they would allow
    GamePass/xCloud
  • > Most gamepass titles are on PlayStation too. So you would be paying only for Xbox exclusives.
    Would one want to buy those GamePass games from PsStore, if one already subscribed GamePass? But I agree with you, I don't think Sony would allow this.
    Nintendo might, cause there's benefits if both camp can cut a good deal (partially because Switch isn't doing as good as expected. There were interview and quotes from the new CEO from Nikkei, about concerns about their HW business going forward.).
  • Excellent article. This can not be stated enough... this is the biggest news happening right now. Not what PS5 will have, not even the "Anaconda" Xbox, but Project XCloud and their game streaming services. This is the future EVERYONE wants. Playing games at home, jumping back in on your phone or tablet, continuing again on your laptop or desktop. This continuity is exactly what I have been waiting for and once implemented, will be the standard to follow.
  • the problem will be form factor and screen size.
    especially as relates to text and menus and playability with different control configurations
  • If you use it to progress a RPG... you might need a 10" NB or something, but a few round of Forza, Apex or Anthem? You are familiar with the UI already, and there's no new info popping out on the screen I suppose.
  • "This is the future EVERYONE wants."
    Wrong. I don't want that.
  • I get why Microsoft would want to do this; I don't get why Nintendo would ever let them. Despite their seemingly amiable relationship, they are competitors and I see more cons than pros for Nintendo to cede its controlled territory like that.
  • if I knew all my digital catalog of Microsoft xbox live based games could be played on the switch? i'd buy a switch in a heartbeat. as of now switch hasn't made the case to me for a purchase. i'd bet i'm far from alone. there's the benefit to Nintendo
  • Yeah, but they don't want you to buy a Switch to play games you bought elsewhere. They want you to buy a Switch to buy Switch games. Or, even more concerning for them--existing owners stop buying Switch games and sign up for Game Pass instead. Then they're losing out on a lot of revenue. Who knows the intricacies, though.
  • They can track who's playing what right? N can cut a deal with MS imo.
    N gets a cut from every GP game played (and games that will never come to Switch). MS get to expand business and free ads. And if xbox is everywhere, why PS? Xbox and Switch are the best combo no? PC gaming is close, but still way limited to only x86 and x64 Windows PC and you cannot run AAAs on a non-gaming NB, certainly not on an Andromeda. And you cannot expect devs to support/update old games forever. * There were interview and quotes from the new CEO from Nikkei, about concerns about their HW business going forward. Switch isn't doing as good as expected. Free ads? Like... if people/kids are playing Anthem on a Switch, phone, (ARM/Intel based) NB, Andromeda using GP, they'd want their friend to join right? If you are doing gamepad gaming in a coffee or on the bus... free ads?
  • it would open me up to the possibility of buying switch games that I would have otherwise have no ability to play. i'd be another customer for their switch games as well as xbox live. right now I have no switch and am guaranteed to buy zero switch games.
    there's the benefit to nintendo
  • I am in exactly the same boat. I have zero interest in the Switch because it is more expensive than either an Xbox or PS4 and its feature set is behind my 3DS and way behind my Vita. Having played Mario and Zelda for most of my life, the hype isn't as strong for those titles either and I really only perked up for Rune Factory 5 and otome game announcements. However, let me play my Xbox games on it and I'm instantly interested in buying one. Same for my friends and family who didn't care at all before either.
  • Is EA's game pass available on other platforms? If so, how is this any different?
  • "Xbox hardware is going nowhere." That's all well and good, but there is absolutely no point to making Xbox hardware if you can play their games on every platform. All they're doing is wasting money by making it. If they want to get out of the console business, then get out. But don't give me this crap about how it makes sense to have both Xbox consoles and put their games on every platform. It doesn't make a lick of sense. You de-incentivize people to buy an Xbox by doing that.
  • Your argument makes no sense. That's like saying there's no point in making Surface hardware Microsoft OS and services are available on HP and Dell devices. The experience of playing games on Xbox and Switch is big enough, it'll even be a bigger difference when mobile streaming comes into play.
  • I disagree. Many who buy an Xbox do so because they want the full blown big screen TV 4k best graphics scenario to enjoy big blockbuster stories in gaming. They aren't going to just game on A Switch only if you can get a cinematic experience for the big games. Companies don't make much on hardware sold. It's the services and games they make money on. So MS won't care if they sold say 10 million less across the lifetime of the generation, if they gain 20 million subscribers for Gamepass in that time. Thinking about console sales being the measure of success is fading. That's 90s and 00s thinking. Netflix don't have a box. Sky in my country force you to have their box to watch all their TV. That's why Netflix just overtook Sky in subscribers in the UK. Because you can watch it anywhere. And now Netflix is worth more than Disney and sky put together. Because your in their ecosystem. MS will have people in an ecosystem. Not locked to 1 device. But available on many devices. I expect when it comes to Android, Android Smart TVs will have the app as well. All you'll need is a controller.
  • I agree, all Sony has to do is put out a console that is near the Xbox's power or better than and it wins. Why would anyone buy an Xbox if the Playstation had it's exclusives as well as Xbox's? If you bought an Xbox it would have less games on it and Playstation has the added advantage of Japanese RPG's for people who like that type of thing. It's giving the win to their competitor like a xmas gift. I don't get it.
  • Wins what exactly. Going forward services become more important than hardware sales. It absolutely won't be on PS consoles. Because they are direct competitors. And who wins if Gamepass has over 100 million subscribers by 2025 along with 50 million Xbox sales also? Its not the 90s anymore where consoles are the only viable way to play games. Services didn't exist back then. Heck even streaming movie services were laughed at 10 years ago. Now Netflix owns everything in terms of subscribers in their ecosystem and what the company is worth.
  • Did you not read the article you are replying too? "I've been hearing for almost a year that Microsoft was aiming to put Xbox Game Pass on Nintendo Switch, and even PlayStation 4, though at first, I didn't fully believe what I was hearing" "These cloud-oriented giants are not beholden to any platform or plastic box, and that could give them a major advantage over platforms that still confine themselves to a specific hardware ecosystem." "There are rumors Microsoft will soon put more of its exclusive titles onto other systems, as the company already does with Minecraft" All these quotes from Jez point to Gamepass or probably more specifically XCloud being put on other consoles including the Switch & PS4 as Minecraft is. Once they do that then there will be little reason to buy an Xbox. All Sony has to do is put out a console at a reasonable price near the Xbox's power and most gamers will buy it as they will have access to all the exclusives bar Nintendo's so if they are hard core gamers they can just buy that as well. Once the Xbox's sales numbers go down there is a big chance that they will discontinue as manufacturing costs will outnumber the profits they get from Xbox Live on the Xbox. Then MS will just be like Netflix - platform agnostic without manufacturing a platform. Which means that if these plans are true I will not be buying the next Xbox and will go to PC instead and while that won't affect me that much I think it will be a shame for consoles as Sony will have no competition and be able to dominate and do what it wants. So yes Sony will "win" and that will be bad for all of us. A lot of "ifs" I know but it's all highly possible imo.
  • The PS4 rumor here is out of odds with every other report on this. It won't be coming to PS consoles. Everyone else is reporting Switch only. Because Xbox 2 is in direct competition with PS5. So no. I can tell you with certainty it will not come to Playstation. You will never be able to play Halo on any Playstation. If it was MS wouldn't be bothering with Xbox 2.
  • > Japanese RPG's for people who like that type of thing
    Can you guarantee all ps4 games people buy today, are all future PSes compatible? Can you cross-gen-play/save? Do you get to keep all your saves, game lib, peripherals on future PSes? Can Sony cook up Win10+UWP equivalent? Free, unlimited storage cross-platform cloud save? How about XPA? xCloud? Servers and cable across continents? Uncharted and many other games are still using MS's middleware right? JRPG? You mean Dragon Quest and Persona5? 90m PS4 owners ignored those games.
    Games like FF, has a global appeals, those will go multiplat.
  • the major gaming battle will not be in console sales, it will be xbox live vs playstation network as a service to connect to and play. so install base for hardware will not be the winning metric, but user base for the online service. Microsoft seems to understand that making any play to widen the appeal of xbox live is the long play rather than trying to make the next xbox device the highest selling console
  • There is nothing saying that they will put all their games on the service on other platforms. Game pass has a lot of third party content. It could be that it will only have games available on that platform already.
  • Good move from Microsoft considering google finished their beta testing for streaming games. Though the 'xbox hardware' isn't going anywhere still raising some questions. Either way a game pass like subscription would never work on the PlayStation considering their exclusives are mainly single player only campaigns. People would never have a reason to buy those games once they play them a few times(and possibly finish the game) on a game pass like service.
  • I myself can't justify buying a switch, but if this collaboration opens up the opportunity for some Nintendo games to show up on the Xbox, I'm all for it.
  • I wish MS could buy Nintendo. This would help them get into the Japanese market and a bunch of awesome IP and back compatibility games.
  • This is such a disruptive strategy that most people won't understand it.
  • I understand it I just don't like it and think it is bad for consoles and gamers.
  • They need to bring Game Pass to PC first before they do anything else.
  • I would want that too but I think the whole Epic store business doesn't help. Look what happened with Ashen was supposed to come out on both Xbox and PC through the Microsoft store but it went exclusively on PC in the Epic store. Microsoft needs to come in hard on PC if it is to succeed.
  • It's coming this year. Phil said in a recent interview that he is bringing Xbox to PC properly. And Gamepass is coming. They said they would announce all the PC stuff later this year.
  • Yes they should. That be awesome!
  • But wouldn't that mean that if you had a Playstation then you wouldn't need to buy an Xbox as all the games will be on Playstation (as long as they keep their first party games exclusive). It looks like all you would need is a Playstation and if you like Nintendo games their latest console as well - no need for Xbox. Doesn't make sense.
  • And yet MS would still make money! MS doesn't make money on the console, they make money on the games! This is pretty brilliant IMHO.
  • They'll make MUCH less money. They'll only make money of the few games they sell. If people are on PS, they won't buy all the 3rd party on XB.
  • Netflix makes more money than Disney. And they only get money from a 8.99 month subscription. MS absolutely will make more money on a 7.99 / month subscription service. Especially if half the Switch owners sign up to play Fable 4, Halo Infinite, Forza 8 among many awesome future AAA titles by the new developers.
  • I agree, with people not having a reason to buy an Xbox then profits from all 3rd party games sold on the Xbox go and so do the subscription fees they get from Xbox owners. It looks like Xbox is going the Sega route and will just make games banking everything on streaming services and Gamepass to make money, it may work but I have my doubts especially around the viability of future consoles. In the end it means that I will jump ship and go back to PC. I dislike Sony exclusives and hate their controller so a PC where I can use an Xbox controller and play Xbox exclusives (for as long as MS makes them) will be the place for me though I'm not fond of the idea of upgrading my hardware all the time and having a PC in my living room but I just don't see the Xbox being around for much longer past next gen.
  • I don't see a PS6 either to be honest. By 2025 services will absolutely be way more important than hardware sales.
  • This is pretty brilliant IMHO. Hardware loses money, they usually only make money from games and services. While their own hardware will still be important, they will make money from all platforms. If you own a PS, MS will still make money. They fact that will be on all platforms, means this will have more strength than if Sony or Nintendo make a game pass service that only run on their platforms. This is a play at a possible Amazon or EA competition.
    If I was MS, the first thing I would go on a spending spree and buy EA, Netflix, and Spotify. Then build a cross-platform internet cable service. This way you would have complete entertainment platform. This would be very difficult combo to beat. Even better if they can find a EBook, and Audiobook companies to acquire or build if they have to also. Wrap these all into one cohesive cross-platform entertainment bundle for one low price (individual plans would still be available but cheaper if you subscribe to the whole platform)
    Next, I would make sure the next Xbox platform controller is natively Bluetooth, this way they could create a streaming service on Apple TV, Android, iOS, PC, and other places and still use the native Xbox controller.
    If you create a good enough value for all these bundled services, no single service could beat it. Netflix will soon be getting a lot of competition from other services and so is Spotify and Xbox game pass isn't alone either, individually these services are vulnerable, together they unbeatable.
  • I read the article and the comments, but I really don't think MS will gain that much from this. I think they'll actually lose a lot.
    The important thing here is ecosystem.
    Last gen, I had a few Xbox 360, I had gold subscription and I had kinect. I spend a lot of money in MS's ecosystem. I bought games, hardware and gold subscription.
    This gen, I was mostly on PS4 so I bought most games on PS4, I have PS+ and bought PS hardware like PSVR. I hardly spent anything on MS's product. In terms of games I only bought QB, Ori. But both on steam. Then I'm interested by Recore and SO and both are also on steam. MS has a deal for Cuphead but I also finished that on steam.
    So MS hardly got any of my money. The thing with play anywhere is that even if MS had a XB1/Win10 exclusive I would still be able to play it without buying a XB1. I would have only spent it for the game and that's it. At the end, that's A LOT less money for MS. The thing is I also game on PC. I understand the argument about console game not wanting to play on PC so buying a XB1 to play these MS games. But now, even that argument will be cancelled.
    If XB's games end up on switch and PS, there would be even less reasons to ever buy a XB console. At this stage I would only think that XB "fans" are the only ones who will buy the console because of brand loyalty. Even less people will buy XB consoles. So less people will be in the XB ecosystem. Less people on MS ecosystem is massive loss for MS. Less people paying for gold subscription, less people buying their constrollers, the 3rd party games and their consoles... Now for the argument that more PS/Switch players will spend money to play XB's games. The thing is that not all of them will buy every MS games. Those who are interested in a MS game will ONLY spend for that game. They'll still buy 3rd party on the console of their choice. I've seen MS/XB fans hype game pass as if it's the greatest thing of all time but is game pass really that great?
    I've actually seen the current games on the service. And there aren't really many games that I want to rent. Besides the MS games, most of the rest are old arcade games that are probably struggling to sell. The few AAA games sold are old games or older versions of a current franchise. ofc 3 of the last 4 MS published games had average ratings. SoT (unfinished game), SoD2 (full of bugs) and Crackdown 3 (incomplete, missing key features + bugs).
    I know the usual MS/XB "fans" will hype these games like crazy, but I'm yet to see a neutral or an non-MS fan hype any of these games.
  • It's great to see you basing Gamepass off a couple games that weren't even first party when they were designed. When they were they had a small AA budget. Ninja Theory made Hellblade with 10 million dollars. Less money than Naughty Dog spent on just the mocap for Uncharted 4. And yet Hellblade won 5 baftas, 100 game awards and reviewed 88 meta critic. I'm sure a studio of that quality will do wonders now they have AAA funding. Playground Games 2nd studio is hard at work on a AAA open world RPG. The Coalition is reimagining Gears 5. 343 is making an open world Halo RPG in a reboot of that franchise. Then we have Compulsion Games and Undead Labs now with AAA budgets for the first time in their existence. All these will have day 1 launch on Gamepass. Gamepass was fantastic in its inception of the idea. But going forward all these studios were bought for promoting Gamepass and Xcloud. Not for some 90s console sales war. It's to push the service forward exactly like Netflix did with Netflix originals. Crackdown was a mess of development that started before Phil took over. Rare tried something entirely different because they wanted to. It's very clear MS will be getting story driven games from the developers of Ninja Theory, The Initiative, 343, The Coalition, Obsidian and I exile moving forward. Think it's wise to wait for E3 to see what these new studios are doing with big budgets before you assume they aren't going to hit the quality of Horizon 4. This E3 could be extremely important. It is the most watched game show by over 3 million last year.
  • "It's great to see you basing Gamepass off a couple games that weren't even first party when they were designed. When they were they had a small AA budget."
    They are first party because MS published them. MS themselves call these games first party games.
    Here is what Greenberg said: "Take our first party stuff, Forza will be out, Crackdown will be out, Sea of Thieves, Super Lucky’s Tale, State of Decay 2, all will be launching before E3 next year."
    https://gamingbolt.com/xbox-one-x-microsoft-responds-to-criticism-regard...
    Even Spencer, mentioned them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=825&v=_5G4pdbKjWI It doesn't become a first party game when it favours you, and not when it doesn't. lol And please don't come with more damage control.
    They themselves called crackdown 3 and State of decay 2 AAA games:
    https://twitter.com/undeadlabs/status/747812909368115201?lang=en
    https://wccftech.com/sumo-we-dont-decide-when-to-show-game/ The rest of your post is the usual Richard predictions and talking about the future.
    So I'll ignore that...
  • Do you know what makes a title AAA? It's the budget. It doesn't matter what MS pushed them as to try and garner sales. The fact is these titles had tiny budgets. All MS paid for was the Publishing of the game's. Advertising and exposure. They didn't pay for the development. Every single one of those games (except Crackdown 3) had less than 10 million dollar budget. Every single Naughty Dog game since Uncharted 2 has had over 100 million budget. God Of War had a budget of 150 million. As I said let's wait and see what these developers can do with AAA budgets. Heck even Obsidian haven't had access to Mo cap making The Outer Worlds. Only since they have been bought have they had access to Mo Cap studios that MS has. And Hellblade is a prime example. 10 million dollars to make the whole game. And they nearly didn't finish it due to funds. Imagine what they can do with God Of War budget. An extra 140 million dollars. If they can get 100 awards and 5 baftas with 10 million. What will they clean up with next time?
  • Wouldn't they know more about the budget then you? If the devs and publisher tells its AAA then who should I believe? Them or you?
    Unless ofc you're saying that they lied and misled gamers... Again, I'll wait and see and not make wild predictions. Remember MS financed games like SoT and Crackdown 3. I mean look at what Rare were and what they have become.
    I just hope they'll give creative freedom for their studios.
  • You can see the reports for how much the game's cost to make. Its like Alan Wake. MS own the pushing rights. Not the IP. Although ironically, MS now own the IPs to Undead Labs and Compulsion Games games. Rare are a studio that likes to take chances on projects. Rare employees have come forward on interviews before saying Noone told them to make anything. They also apparantly chose to make Kinect games all by themselves. If you look at the type of games they have attempted for Xbox they all follow a similar art style or fun factor found in their Nintendo days. Have they made some poor choices for games? That's up to gamers. But Kinect Sports was a huge success. Viva Pinata had a pretty big fan base and reviewed decent enough. You honestly think Someone told Rare to make a title like Viva Pinata? On a console which had an image of shooters and adult games? I already gave you 2 youtube links in another article to interviews with 2 different Studio heads both saying they all have complete freedom and are all in dependant from each other.
  • Can you post links of the games budget?
    What are you talking about?
    MS don't own Alan Wake, but they own both State of decay (since 2012) and Crackdown. Please do your research before making posts. I've already replied you with links about the Rare and how MS interferes with studios.
  • Agreed though I think the Xbox exclusives have been way better than the PS exclusives this gen the only problem is there is not enough of them but that's "opinion" I suppose and not worth arguing about. I'm more worried that MS is killing the Xbox console and because I don't like the PS interface, controller or most of their exclusives I will have to go back to PC which is a bit of a pain so that makes me annoyed but I can't see any other alternative.
  • Yes, it remains an opinion. And yes, the killing of the xbox console is not really good news for gaming. If they see that they are losing money on the console and their end goal is just to have game pass on all platforms, then it'll not be great as far as competition goes.
    Sony and Nintendo will start to be complacent, and it won't be good for gamers.
  • Not sure if your aware. Xbox 2 is coming in 2020. 2 versions, and rumours suggest serious power. Latest reports are Arcturus GPU. A whole generation above Navi. And a Zen 2 processor with an off die Cache of 1 GB. Yes 1 GB. That's the rumor. I would say they aren't abandoning console at all. In fact they will likely have the better hardware as it's again being designed by the Surface team (responsible for One S and One X). So no your fine. Xbox consoles aren't going anywhere. You just now have more options and places to play your Xbox game catalog away from your Xbox console. And some of your Switch friends can join in the fun with you now as well.