After strongly denying Xbox Game Pass would arrive on consoles like the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation, Xbox head Phil Spencer said he’s more open to these discussions than previously stated.
In a recent interview, Spencer told GameReactor the priority for Xbox Game Pass was to reach more players, with its extension to other consoles in doubt, but not out of the question. When GameReactor asked about the status of Xbox Game Pass on consoles like the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation, Spencer stated the reason they hadn’t pursued them yet was a desire to focus on larger audience bases, rather than a reluctance to extend the service to all consoles.
“We went to mobile next because there’s a billion Android phones on the planet. It’s significantly larger than any console player base. We still have iOS to go after, we will come to iOS at some point. … There’s smart TV’s out there, there’s Chromebooks out there, there’s FireTV out there, there’s a lot of discussions we would have, we would prioritise it based on where we would find the most new players, that we could naturally bring content to. I love the Switch, I love PlayStation, honestly, I think they’ve done an amazing job as being a part of this industry. I’m not sure that those are the next big set of users for us, but we could be open to those discussions.”
This follows comments Spencer made earlier in the year indicating there was ‘no interest’ in porting Xbox Game Pass to other consoles because it wouldn’t replicate the ‘full Xbox experience’. While it’s not exactly a total backflip, it does leave the question far more open than before with the potential for discussions to take place, at the very least.
Already, the Nintendo Switch is home to excellent Xbox games like Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Super Lucky’s Tale, but the majority of the Xbox’s game catalogue is still fairly exclusive. A streaming service like Xbox Game Pass could bridge this exclusivity gap and provide access to hundreds of excellent Xbox titles to all Nintendo Switch or PlayStation gamers.
With Xbox focusing on accessibility in this new console generation, it could be a positive leap in the right direction.
But while Spencer’s comments are encouraging, and hint at a potential change in attitude towards Xbox Game Pass-exclusivity, for now, it appears the pairing will be remain the stuff of our hopes and dreams.