Ahead of a “business update” from Xbox this week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has privately been reassuring employees that Microsoft is not planning to exit the console manufacturing business, while some of the original leakers that suggested that Starfield and other exclusives will be coming to PlayStation 5 have walked back their rumourmongering.
Per Inverse.com’s Shannon Liao, the company held an internal townhall meeting last Tuesday, the day after crossplatform rumours broke, with Spencer telling employees that they had no plans to stop making consoles and that this would involve “multiple kinds of devices.”
Additionally, Nate the Hate (via HazzadorGamin) who first leaked the Hi-Fi Rush crossplatform release, has now said that talk of Starfield coming to PS5 is “pure fiction” and that he’s “own this miss”, which I’m sure is very reassuring to the Xbox executives wondering where the fork all of this staggeringly bad press has suddenly come from.
And so that brings us back to what was always the most likely situation, that Microsoft will look to selectively port and release their games on other platforms, as they have done in rare instances in the past – Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch, for example. An acclaimed but smaller budget game like Hi-Fi Rush would seem perfect for this kind of treatment, while Activision Blizzard’s work is best used at scale with Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo and others, and then they can keep their core franchises and most important games as Xbox and PC exclusives.
I’ve no doubt that Microsoft has considered all the angles, but it would seem they’re taking a more nuanced approach. After all, Spencer famously said that he had to get Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to buy in on his vision and plans for reinvesting in Xbox Game Studios and Xbox Game Pass to try and turn the Xbox One’s flubbed launch into something more respectable, when Nadella was thinking about cutting the brand loose in the mid-2010s.
Still, we have to wait until this “business update” arrives this week to find out the extent of what will be new and different going forward.