Xbox Officially Opens The Door To Allow Its 1st Party Titles To Head Further Afield

We can all safely say that, despite not even being two full months into 2024, it has been quite a year for Xbox!

As 2023 came to a close and 2024 got set to greet us, rumors began to swirl that Xbox 1st party exclusives would soon be headed to other platforms such as Nintendo Switch and PlayStation, something that I previously would have brushed off as unthinkable.

The end was nigh…

A few more weeks into 2024 even more rumors start to surface… These rumors however were more gigantic in stature. They stated that Xbox’s big flagship exclusive, Starfield, would soon be headed to PlayStation 5. Not only that, but the recently hyped Indiana Jones & The Great Circle game (coming this year from MachineGames) was also in consideration for a release on Sony’s rival console. Surely this could not be happening!?

Well, right on cue was a social media meltdown that will be written in the history books for future generations to remember. Xbox influencers were in full panic mode, long-time Xbox fans were thrashing it out in Twitter (X) spaces of epic lengths, and Xbox consoles were actively coming to life, unplugging themselves and heading for new pastures as they simply couldn’t take it anymore. OK, that last one isn’t true, but by the way that some people reacted, they would have you believe it was. Quite simply, to some people, the end of Xbox was nigh. Stick a fork in her, she was done.

A business update like no other…

Then it happened, the official word came from the head of Xbox himself, Mr Phil Spencer: they had heard us, and they knew the fans weren’t happy. They had seen the Tweets, the Twitter spaces, the meltdowns, the Xbox consoles getting thrown into unusually clean and well laid out household waste bins. They were ready to talk to the masses and bring an end to the chaos.

So, on February 15th at 8:00pm GMT, Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond and Matt Booty released a special edition of the Xbox Podcast to try to explain to the masses just exactly what was going on over at Xbox HQ. As it turned out (and if we are all brutally honest the truth wasn’t actually as bad as first thought), confirmation came that an initial 4 Xbox 1st party titles would indeed be going to other platforms. But, at the same time, commitments were made for future Xbox hardware. Game Pass wasn’t going anywhere and neither were its games. Activision/Blizzard (ABK) titles would also soon be coming to Game Pass.

In other words, the mass hysteria and panic that had taken place in the weeks before were perhaps just a little bit over the top and now it was time for crisp high-fives all around, right!? Well sort of, a sense of calm certainly came over some of those who had previously been panicking, yet others simply could not move past the narrative that Xbox as we know it was gone. In general, though, the waters had certainly stilled for a period.

Sooner rather than later..

Then today, the inevitable happened – perhaps sooner than we all thought, the clouds gathered, the wind began to howl, a Nintendo Direct was released and like a clap of thunder sent from Zeus himself, the first two Xbox titles to head multi-platform were officially confirmed, Grounded and Pentiment.

The Nintendo Direct event was then followed up by the official news from Xbox that the time had come and the Xbox ship was indeed sailing off into the sunset… in other words, Sea of Thieves was confirmed as one of the four titles that was going to another platform:

Grounded – Switch, PS4 & PS5 April 16th – Cross-Play With Other Platforms

Pentiment – Switch, PS4 & PS5 February 22nd

Hi-Fi Rush – PS5 March 19th

Sea of Thieves – PS5 April 30th – Cross-Play With Other Platforms

Let’s get serious…

So what happens next you may ask… Well the four Xbox titles mentioned above will launch on more platforms, which let’s be honest, we already knew was happening. The world will also keep spinning and, contrary to some beliefs, Xbox will still be here when you wake up tomorrow.

In all seriousness, yes this is slightly uncharted territory for Xbox. I say slightly because let’s not forget that Minecraft, Call of Duty, Diablo IV, Ori, Cuphead – these are games that have already launched on other platforms. Let us also not forget that Xbox also launches their first-party titles day and date on to PC. However, the launch of these games on other consoles makes a lot of sense. These 4 titles have long stopped moving the needle for Xbox in terms of sales; people are not buying Xbox consoles to play Pentiment (big love for Pentiment but it’s the truth). Grounded and Sea of Thieves are live service titles – more platforms mean more players which is exactly what these games need.

Now, will we likely see more Xbox titles head to other platforms in the future? Yes, absolutely we will. I think if you look at how quickly the current infamous 4 titles will be arriving on other platforms since the big business update, it is clear that the wheels for this to happen have been in motion for some time. And, it is probably a safe bet that the plans for the next batch titles are already well mapped out.

I will add that, although I believe that more Xbox titles will go multi-platform, I do not believe that it will be all titles and I certainly do not believe that it will be day and date. Games like Indiana Jones, Avowed, Fable, Forza, and Gears 6 will still launch exclusively on Xbox. Sure they may go to other platforms later in the future, but it will be at a point that it makes financial sense for Xbox. A point where, as is the case with the current 4 titles, they are no longer moving that needle for Xbox.

Xbox exclusives will still continue to land on Game Pass at launch and Game Pass will continue to both be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem and will continue to be one of the best deals in gaming. I think the point I am really trying to get across here is that although this is a bold move from Xbox (and one that a lot of people will most likely use to have you believe that Xbox is dead or finished), the cold hard truth of the matter is that, in the long run, Xbox will be just fine.


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Lee Reid

Scottish video game enthusiast who is very passionate and a big believer in cloud gaming. Also loves to chat about video games.

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