Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has been doing the rounds to promote Microsoft's latest console, and he's been talking a little more about the company's cross-platform approach. Essentially Xbox is making the 'box' part of the equation less central, and transitioning into more of a software platform.
Spencer was speaking to Gamereactor about consoles traditionally being closed platforms, before moving onto Xbox Series X games and PC.
"There is this expectation from customers like there is now on PC, where people don't really question—there might be some timing things, on when certain things happen—but if we are shipping a first-party game it's coming to PC. If we are shipping a first-party game on PC it's coming to Steam and our own store. Like we built an expectation from our customers.
[...] I feel good about the games that we are building, and I feel good about that on PC. You know if I rewind five years ago, I would say over and over, that we are committed to PC and then get a bunch of eye rolls, and rightfully so for we weren't doing much. But I think now when you look at what our standing is on Steam and Game Pass on PC, we have shown that our commitment over time has paid off. PC customers may or may not love what we do, but they know that when we are shipping things, we're gonna do our best effort on PC as well as on Xbox."
It's been known for a while that the vast majority of Microsoft first party games would eventually also be published on God's own platform, but here Spencer is saying everything they make will be cross-platform. The lot. The only caveat seems to be timing, which will of course allow Microsoft to insist that the console still has exclusives of a sort.
Which is almost enough to make you wonder why anyone would buy an Xbox these days.
"The fact that we sell our games on PC does undermine one of the value propositions in that it doesn't force somebody to go buy our console. Our high-level goal inside of our team, of how we measure ourselves, is how many people are playing on Xbox. And when we say 'playing on Xbox' it doesn't mean an Xbox console. It means somebody who is logging in and playing a part of our ecosystem, whether first-party or third-party. And it could be on an Android phone. It could be on a Switch. It could be on a PC. That's how we think about it."
Fine by me Phil. Now, if we could just have a chat about Ninja Gaiden Black...