Microsoft will share an update on the Xbox business later this week, the company confirmed Monday after weeks of reports and rumours of its first-party games coming to rival consoles. The Xbox parent will reveal its plans for the platform in a special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast on February 15 at 12pm PT (February 16, 1.30am IST in India), where Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Xbox president Sarah Bond and Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty will share details about the future Xbox roadmap. The confirmation comes after Spencer had promised last Tuesday that Microsoft would share its vision for the “future of Xbox” next week.
The business update from Xbox follows multiple reports about Xbox exclusive titles like Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves likely launching on competing platforms from Sony and Nintendo. The list of first-party games that could make their way to PS5 also includes Bethesda RPG Starfield and its recently announced Indiana Jones title. A report from The Verge had claimed that a wave of exclusive games on Xbox could be crossing over to the PS5 and Nintendo Switch.
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Hear from Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond and Matt Booty as they share updates on the Xbox business. pic.twitter.com/TxwWJVUbgx
— Xbox (@Xbox) February 12, 2024
Microsoft has not confirmed this shift in strategy, but its upcoming business update will likely reveal details about its plans to launch first-party games outside of the Xbox ecosystem. The Verge, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, reports that Microsoft is in fact gearing up to announce select exclusive games for PS5 and Nintendo Switch. According to the latest report, Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment will likely be the first two games to launch on Sony and Nintendo’s consoles, with a Sea of Thieves release planned for later this year. Other first-party titles on Xbox and PC are also being weighed for possible launch on rival platforms, the report said.
Last week, Xbox chief Spencer had appeared to calm the Xbox community left unsettled by rumours of Xbox games launching on other platforms, but had stopped short of denying the reports. “We’re listening and we hear you,” Spencer had said in his X post last Tuesday. “We’ve been planning a business update event for next week, where we look forward to sharing more details with you about our vision for the future of Xbox. Stay tuned.”
Xbox’s business plans will likely be detailed on the Xbox podcast Thursday, but if the announcements mirror the recent reports, it will represent an industry-changing shift in Microsoft’s strategy. The company has reiterated its commitment to exclusive titles on the Xbox platform, in addition to its focus on growing Xbox Game Pass, several times in the past. The likely change in Xbox’s direction over its first-party titles hasn’t come without internal resistance. The XboxEra report from earlier this month, that claimed that Starfield could make its way to PS5, had said that company’s senior leadership had engaged in “fierce” internal discussions over the matter, with not everyone onboard with the possibility of Xbox games releasing on PlayStation or Nintendo Switch.