Under Phil Spencer, the Xbox Division of Microsoft has undoubtedly become much more open. First party game from the company are now on PC as well, while they’ve become far more open with Steam as well, so not everything is restricted to the Windows 10 Store like it was in the not so distant past. The Game Pass program has now extended to PC, as well. With xCloud, Microsoft’s streaming service set to release later this year, it opens a lot of potential gates, too. But what is the natural endgame here? Could we be seeing Master Chief on something besides an Xbox or a PC in the not too distant future?
In an interview with Kotaku, Phil Spencer was bluntly asked if we’d see Halo or Gears of War on a Sony or Nintendo console soon. He shot down the possibility, which probably isn’t too surprising. He said that while he understands that things are changing, he still thinks having a native device to anchor Microsoft’s ecosystem is in their best interest. While it may seem easy on the outside looking in, he says it’s more complicated than just flipping a switch and having all Xbox Live components, for instance, working on a Switch.
“The games themselves are critically important to players and people playing,” said Spencer. “But ensuring that you have a connected ecosystem with the players, where people’s save game and their state and their friends list and their entitlements move seamlessly from every ecosystem—from every device—that they want to play on is critical. There aren’t other systems where we can go do that today.
“Today on the Switch, what we’re able to do is we have Xbox Live on the Switch so we can keep those communities connected. And we have, as you pointed out, a certain number of franchises that have shipped over there. But in the end we think us having a native platform in the home for years is going to be critical for to continue to push our vision of where the gaming platform should be.”
Of course, in the near future it won’t happen, but it does feel, with the rise of streaming, that things are set to change the industry on a lot of levels. But for the time being, though, if you want to play Halo, you’ll need an Xbox or PC that can run it.