Xbox boss Phil Spencer says he's "open to discussions" about Xbox Game Pass one day being available on rival devices, but that it's not a priority right now.
Rumors that Game Pass could launch on the Nintendo Switch have surfaced several times recently, and in a lengthy interview with our sister site GamesRadar, Spencer didn't rule out the possibility of it happening one day. But don't expect it to be any time soon — because the focus is more about "the web, PC, and mobile" at the moment.
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Xbox Game Pass has expanded significantly recently, becoming more of a platform in its own right than merely a console feature, as it has moved on to PC and mobile. And indeed, Spencer hinted the ultimate aim is for it to be available to all gamers, whatever device they are using.
Asked specifically by GamesRadar about the possibility of an Xbox app appearing on the Switch, Spencer replied. "You know, it's the right question because people usually ask me about releasing one individual game or another. And what I say is I want the full Xbox experience to be something that we deliver."
However, he then went on to point out that it's not something that's on the cards at the moment, stating that “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. 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.”
Spencer added, “That’s not a slam on anybody else who has a system that works for them. I can see why the disruption of Game Pass is not something that they want right now."
But nor did he rule it out ever happening, adding that, “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.”
All of which makes sense. Sony and Nintendo are Xbox’s competitors, and it’s perfectly reasonable for them not to want to add access to rival services on their platform. It's the same reason why Microsoft isn’t likely to add support for PS Now on the Xbox Series X.
Still, the fact that Spencer stated he was "open to discussions" at least teases the prospect that it could one day happen. Then again, actually hammering out a deal is a different matter, particularly since anything that puts Game Pass on a rival platform would be a lot more beneficial to Microsoft than Sony or Nintendo.
Of course, such an action might also be the beginning of the end of the Xbox console. After all, why would anyone buy an Xbox Series X if they could play the biggest and best exclusive titles on a PS5? People might never need to choose between consoles ever again.
But the point is moot, since this possibility is purely hypothetical and isn’t going to be happening anytime soon. In the meantime, Xbox is expanding Game Pass to as many other open platforms as it can, including Android, iOS, PC and smart TVs, and is even rumored to be developing its own streaming box that entirely circumvents the need for apps and consoles.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.