Though Xbox head Phil Spencer once stated that Xbox Game Pass could eventually make its way to “all platforms” thanks to the power of its game streaming platform xCloud, it seems that is no longer the case.
Below are several excerpts from Spencer’s recent interview with GameStar:
“The thing about other gaming console platforms is we’re not able to bring a full Xbox experience on those platforms.”
“In places where we have, like mobile phones like we’re doing now with xCloud coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate…what we’ve done with PC in bringing our full Xbox experience there. Because we know when somebody is playing one of our Xbox games there is an expectation that I’ve got my Xbox Live community, I have my achievements, Game Pass is an option for me, my first-party library is completely there.”
“The other competitive platforms really aren’t interested in having a full Xbox experience on their hardware. But for us, we want to be where gamers want to be and that’s the path that we’re on.”
You could look at Spencer’s comments in several ways, but it seems like there’s a possibility Microsoft at least explored bringing the Netflix-like game subscription service to Nintendo and PlayStation systems, but couldn’t agree on certain aspects of how the platform would work.
That said, it still seems a little far-fetched that Microsoft was ever talking to Sony about bringing Game Pass to PlayStation, with Nintendo being a far more realistic possibility. For example, several Microsoft-published games like Cuphead, Minecraft Dungeons, Ori and the Blind Forest and Super Lucky’s Tale have made their way to the Switch.
Though several factors could have put a halt to potential partnership talks, it’s likely the two gaming giants couldn’t agree on how the Xbox Live aspect of the service would work.
Nintendo is notorious for offering an archaic online gaming platform, but the company also has several safeguards in place designed to protect younger gamers, including limiting voice chat in several ways. To be fair, though, Microsoft also offers several Xbox live features that aim to protect children. To some extent, the conflict likely came down to Nintendo lacking full control over the online experience Xbox Game Pass would offer on the Switch.
Microsoft recently announced xCloud will soon become part of its $16.99 CAD per month Game Pass Ultimate subscription that includes Xbox Live Gold and on-demand access to a wide array of downloadable games across Xbox One and PC.
It’s also worth noting the company stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live subscriptions, indicating it either has plans to eventually ditch the multiplayer paywall entirely or offer it as part of Game Pass.
On July 23rd Microsoft is set to hold its first-party ‘Game Showcase.’ Though we don’t know everything the company plans to show off at the keynote, Halo Infinite campaign gameplay will be revealed for the first time. For more on the Game Showcase, check out my story that outlines what we expect to see at the event.