Talk about potentially giving away all the keys to the kingdom. Over the past week, there’s been increasing speculation that Microsoft may seriously be considering releasing Starfield on PS5, alongside the recently revealed Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Now, it looks like Xbox Games Studios could be willing to let the Gears of War series head to PlayStation as well.
These latest whispers have stemmed from comments made by Jeff Grub in the most recent edition of his Giant Bomb livestream (thanks, Insider Gaming). On the ‘cast, Grubb states that the Gears franchise’s potential move is “definitely under consideration” on Microsoft’s part. A specific Sony platform isn’t mentioned, but seeing as the PS5 is the only current gen machine the company has out right now, the only other PlayStation system that could realistically give the run-and-gun shooter a home is the heavily rumored PS5 Pro.
This is obviously all speculation at this point. As you’d expect, Microsoft hasn’t made a peep regarding these PlayStation rumors, or the fact it may be about to transition to becoming a third-party publisher.
It’s also unclear what Gears games could actually be PlayStation-bound. The most recent installment is 2019’s Gears 5, which is the mostly likely candidate for a PS5 port. Who knows, though? If Microsoft truly is willing to let one of its most historically significant IPs go to its longtime rival, perhaps the company would consider making a 4K Gears of War Collection, consisting of not just Gears 5 but also the first three games in the series and Xbox One’s Gears of War 4.
The original trilogy was released on Xbox 360 and was a colossal deal back in the day. Initially placing you in the hulking boots of man mountain Marcus Fenix before the series let you play as his son J.D. in the fourth entry and Kat Diaz in the fifth game, the first title sold a whopping three million copies during its opening week on sale. It also created the innovative “Rhodie Run”, a mechanic that let you shift between cover via a low stance sprint that deployed a heavy amount of shaky cam effects.
Could Halo head to PS5 some day?
While Xbox Series X nor Xbox Series S have been graced with a new Gears game since both consoles launched in late 2020, the mere suggestion Microsoft could allow one of its biggest ever franchises to launch on PlayStation opens up “all bets are off” questions. The sort of questions that may involve a certain near-mute Spartan soldier.
Personally, I wouldn’t view Gears 5 on PS5 as anywhere near as significant a development as Starfield appearing on Sony’s console, mainly because it’s quite an old game and there are already better third-person shooters that are native to Playstation, like the excellent Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Still, if such a port were to happen, it would all but confirm the rumors of Microsoft’s intent to become a third-party console going forward and that may pave the way for Halo Infinite and The Master Chief Collection to cross the divide, too.
If that ends up being the case, it would cast not only the future of dedicated Xbox hardware in doubt, it could open up the possibility of every big Microsoft gaming IP appearing on rival machines, be that PS5 or the rumored Nintendo Switch 2.
Of course, there’s the very real chance PlayStation ports of any of these Xbox properties won’t happen. Not only would physical and/or digital releases of Halo games on PS5 threaten the already underperforming Xbox Series X’s future, it would also require either dedicated Microsoft teams or the intervention of third-party porting specialists to make the notion a reality.
Maybe the most likely outcome if these surprising rumors end up becoming true in some shape, form or fashion is that we see Xbox Game Pass come to PS5 and Nintendo Switch 2. Microsoft’s subscription service has been available on Windows devices and smartphones for years, so the next natural step in its evolution could perhaps see Game Pass land on rival consoles.
In the here and now, all this third-party publisher talk is likely to make PlayStation fans happy and long term Xbox devotees majorly discontent.
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.