Xbox is “open to discussions” on bringing its ecosystem to “closed platforms” such as the Nintendo Switch and PS5, according to Phil Spencer.
In a recent interview with GamesRadar+, Spencer discussed the brand’s approach to cross-platform expansion. Addressing rumors of an Xbox app coming to Nintendo Switch, he explained that while there’s nothing in the works, this is at least “the right question” to ask, rather than which individual games could be ported, because he would “want the full Xbox experience to be something that we deliver.”
“We have no plans to bring it to any other kind of closed platforms right now, mainly because those closed platforms don’t want something like Game Pass,” he says. “There’s a ton of open platforms out there for us to grow in: the web, PC, and mobile. So all of our focus, frankly, is on those platforms … In the end, when we say we want everybody to be able to play on Xbox, we really mean if we can bring that full experience to a device that players want, we are totally open to those discussions.”
Xbox has flirted with a similar idea briefly before, but it never evolved into anything beyond a few ports of Xbox games and pretty much stalled out from there. Business relationships aside, the main requirement seems to be the same: if Xbox is going to exist on another closed platform, it’s going to have to be the full-fat Xbox experience, not one or two games or services. Dividing the ecosystem Xbox has spent years cultivating would fragment its player base, but bringing it wholesale to another platform is tough to swing – partly because, as Spencer suggested, access to Xbox Game Pass would have huge implications for titles on that platform which are also on Game Pass.
Between cross-platform multiplayer and ports of once-exclusive games, the big platforms in the industry are slowly getting more friendly, but I get the impression we won’t see cooperation on this level for a while yet, if ever. Never say never, though.
Check out the full interview for more on Spencer’s ambitions to bring Xbox everywhere in more ways than one.
Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he’s been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They’ve yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he’s kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.