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Microsoft Announces 4 Xbox Exclusives for PS5 and Nintendo Switch, Activision Blizzard Titles on Game Pass

Four Microsoft first-party games will launch on Sony’s PlayStation 5 and the Nintendo Switch, the company confirmed late Thursday after weeks of speculation over its exclusive titles releasing on rival platforms. The announcement came on the Official Xbox Podcast from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, who also shed further light on the reasons behind Xbox’s business decision and confirmed that the next generation of Xbox consoles were in development. Microsoft has not yet revealed the four Xbox exclusives coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch, but The Verge reported that said games would be Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Sea of Thieves and Grounded.

Spencer addressed the rumours about Microsoft first-party titles and the future of Xbox exclusivity head on, confirming that contrary to reports, Triple-A Bethesda releases like Starfield and the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will remain as Xbox and PC exclusives. “We’ve made the decision that we’re going to take four games to the other consoles, just four games,” the Xbox chief on the podcast. He confirmed that Xbox won’t be fundamentally changing its exclusives strategy, explaining the decision to port the four unnamed games over to rival consoles. “We think this is an interesting point in time for us to use what some of the other platforms have right now to help grow our franchises,” he said.

While Spencer refrained from naming the four Xbox exclusive titles slated for launch on PS5 and Nintendo Switch, a report from The Verge, citing sources privy to Microsoft’s plans, claimed that these would be Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Sea of the Thieves and Grounded. The first three of these were previously reported to be coming to Sony and Nintendo’s platforms, too. There are no specific release dates or launch windows for these games, but Spencer said that their respective developers have plans for announcements that are “not too far away.”

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Hi-Fi Rush has been rumoured to come to PS5 and Nintendo Switch
Photo Credit: Bethesda

The Xbox chief, however, did elaborate on the process of picking the four yet confirmed games for multi-platform transition. The company considered games released over a year ago that have been on Xbox and PC for a while. Two of the selected games are community-driven games, Spencer said, while the other two are smaller games that weren’t built to be platform exclusives. “As they’ve realised their potential on Xbox and PC, we see an opportunity to utilise the other platforms as a place to just drive more business value out of those games, allowing us to maybe invest in future iterations of those, or sequels to those, or just other games like that in our portfolio,” Spencer said. “And we don’t damage Xbox and we can grow our business using what other platforms have to help us with that. We’re gonna do that.”

Spencer, however, cautioned players on rival platforms that the change in Microsoft’s strategy did not mean that all or several Xbox exclusives going forward would arrive on PS5 and Nintendo Switch. No other games besides the four already confirmed titles are currently being considered for a multi-platform launch.

In the wide-ranging podcast, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty also reiterated that Game Pass would only be available on Xbox on PC. Additionally, Xbox president Sarah Bond also announced that Activision-Blizzard games would soon arrive on Xbox Game Pass, starting with Diablo IV on March 28. Microsoft acquired Call of Duty maker Activision-Blizzard late last year in $69 billion deal after a long running regulatory battle with the US’ Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Bond also confirmed that Xbox Game Pass had reached 34 million subscribers.

Reports from earlier this month about Microsoft first-party games making their way to PS5 and Nintendo Switch had left the Xbox community unsettled, with many questioning the future of the platform. Major exclusives like Bethesda RPG Starfield and the recently announced Indiana Jones game were reported to be under consideration for a PS5 launch.


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