‘I’m really committed to Xbox Play Anywhere, and it’s really great to see the third party support that we are getting.’
There are some who would argue that Microsoft’s strategy of putting all of their games on PC via Xbox Play Anywhere is counter productive, that it reduces incentives to actually invest in their hardware. Others will say that Microsoft is ahead of the curve here, that they are preparing for a hardware platform agnostic future. Still others think that this is just another pet project for Microsoft doomed to be abandoned soon, and fade into irrelevance- not unlike Kinect, or Games for Windows Live.
However, speaking at the Halo Wars 2 launch event, Xbox boss Phil Spencer refuted that notion, reiterating Xbox’s commitment to Play Anywhere. ‘The most important thing for me about Xbox Play Anywhere is letting you play games anywhere you want,’ he said. ‘And people will talk about it like, is it selling more games? Is it about monetization? I’m just like, I want our Xbox customers to be able to play their games, if they’re at a place in front of a PC, they can play, if they’re on console, they can play.
‘So we’re actually seeing it- you know, we shipped Gears, we shipped Forza, and we’re shipping Halo Wars 2, and of course there was Resident Evil 7… and we talk to our developers, and what they say is that the people who play on both platforms play more. And I think that’s validation of the program. It’s not about where customers buy their games, it’s not about whether PC is bigger or console, it’s just about giving people more opportunity to play. And I’m really committed to Xbox Play Anywhere, and it’s really great to see the third party support that we are getting.’
I can see Phil’s point- and there is definitely something to having a continuous gaming experience, no matter where you are. That is, in fact, one of the things that Nintendo is banking on with the upcoming Switch. But is it wise to divest all of your exclusives like this by also putting them on another platform? That remains to be seen, still.