As you may remember, last week a report surfaced claiming that Xbox once wanted to bring Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PlayStation 4, but eventually the deal broke down. Now, fast-forward a bit, and a new interview between Kotaku and Xbox boss Phil Spencer has posted, and one of the topics that came up was putting Xbox-published games on other platforms beyond PC, something it has begun to do with the Nintendo Switch and some smaller titles.
According to Phil Spencer, the big focus for Xbox is cross-play and letting gamers play with each other. Further, Xbox isn't a console company, it's a platform company. Does this mean Xbox will go third party? Well, Spencer thinks that's an odd way to phrase it. Again, Xbox is a platform, not a console, and Microsoft needs to think "how that platform infrastructure could grow."
That said, when pressed specifically about having titles like Halo on PlayStation or Switch, Spencer seemed to downplay the chances of all of its games -- but more importantly its bigger games -- coming to other consoles, at least for now.
"The games themselves are critically important to players and people playing. But ensuring that you have a connected ecosystem with the players, where people’s save game and their state and their friends list and their entitlements move seamlessly from every ecosystem—from every device—that they want to play on is critical," said Spencer. "There aren’t other systems where we can go do that today."
As you can see, Spencer more or less suggests that in order for Xbox's games to come to say PlayStation or Nintendo devices in bulk, Xbox Live also needs to come to said devices, which is probably where the talks between PlayStation and Xbox break down at the very least.
"Today on the Switch, what we’re able to do is we have Xbox Live on the Switch so we can keep those communities connected," added Spencer. "And we have, as you pointed out, a certain number of franchises that have shipped over there."
Continuing, Spencer noted that if it's bringing some of its games to other platforms that doesn't mean the Xbox as a piece of hardware is going anywhere anytime soon.
"In the end we think us having a native platform in the home for years is going to be critical for to continue to push our vision of where the gaming platform should be," said Spencer.
If any of this sounds a bit non-committal and hazy to you, it's because it is. But from the sounds of it, no, big franchises aren't coming to Nintendo or PlayStation systems anytime soon. However, Microsoft is clearly experimenting, which is why Cuphead is available on Nintendo Switch now. If Halo or Gears of War or Fable were to ever come to PlayStation or Nintendo systems, Xbox Live has to come with them, and I think for that reason Sony isn't going to be interested anytime soon. Nintendo on the other hand, well they obviously seem to mind less, so who knows what will happen there.
Spencer has noted in the past that Microsoft's current focus is bringing its platform to Android due to its larger install base. In other words, if you're looking for the next place to play Xbox games, it's going to be on Android devices.
Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. Do you think Xbox games will ever come to PlayStation?