Xbox employed a clever bit of cross-platform marketing this week by showing someone using a non-Xbox controller to play an Xbox Game Pass game, a development made possible by Xbox's focus on cloud gaming. The ad made sure to bring attention to this fact, too, by directly calling out that you can now use different kinds of controllers to play games on other devices which essentially means you can break all the old rules of console gaming at once.
The ad that shows the best of several worlds can be seen below courtesy of the ever-active Xbox Game Pass Twitter account. It showed someone sitting down to play Sea of Thieves, but they weren't doing so with an Xbox controller nor were they using a traditional TV or monitor display. Instead, they were playing on a mobile tablet using a PlayStation 4 controller.
🎵Look at this photograph— Xbox Game Pass (@XboxGamePass) July 7, 2021
it's one of our cloud gaming ads
Do you see what’s in those hands?
It’s a controller from a different brand🎵 pic.twitter.com/K1nBk7GmOB
While Xbox's cloud gaming initiatives have been talked about often, ads like this help put the technology into perspective for those who haven't tried it yet. Many people may prefer the games on one platform and the hardware from another, but through the cloud gaming capabilities Xbox Game Pass offers, you can mix and match those sorts of components to create scenarios like the one in the ad above.
In the past few years, we've seen controller support for different platforms become more popular other than the way it's being used in the image above. Apple itself now sells DualSense controllers since PlayStation and Xbox controllers are now compatible with plenty of different mobile games when they're used to play games on Apple devices via Bluetooth.
While the ad is indeed more about console unity and options instead of this vs. that, it's hard not to compare this to a recent PlayStation ad which was far less successful. PlayStation shared a video meant to emphasize the bonds that can be formed through games, but all anyone could focus on was the fact that the PlayStation 5 in the ad was upside down. The ad was since deleted and probably won't be making a return seeing how the upside-down console will be all anyone talks about.