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As the major consoles have evolved, Xbox has taken a path we didn't expect. Microsoft has decided that the identity of Xbox is better as more than just a physical console, and it should be treated more like a brand of gaming experiences instead. One of those experiences is Xbox Cloud Gaming - otherwise and fairly commonly known by its working title of xCloud - a streaming service that allows gamers to play their games on devices that aren't the Xbox, like their phone. And it seems that Microsoft is still hopeful that it could strike a deal with PlayStation and Nintendo to allow their consoles to use xCloud, too.
This has come to light via one of the largest legal cases gaming has seen in a long time - one we're still in the middle of. Apple versus Epic is dredging up all sorts of internal information as evidence. And one eagle-eyed individual on ResetEra, and reported by VGC, has spotted a clear indication that Phil Spencer (executive VP of gaming at Microsoft, so basically Xbox's boss) was hopeful of extending xCloud to other consoles not long ago. And where xCloud goes, Xbox Game Pass goes, too.
Watch our video below to get an insight into what Xbox's GM of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, expects from this next generation of the console:
In the emails sent between Phil Spencer and Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, we can see that the two have conversations about the wider aims of their respective brands. One sentence quotes Spencer talking about xCloud on other platforms, saying: "I did want to just let you know that I have your point on xCloud on other consoles (haven't given up)." This email dates back to August of 2020, so not that long ago at all.
The rest of the email mentions also getting rid of Xbox Live Gold as a requirement for free-to-play multiplayer sessions on Xbox consoles. This would allow audiences to play games like Epic's Fortnite without extra subscription payments.
So, will we be seeing Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation and Switch? Basically, it's up to Sony and Nintendo, and how strongly they want to maintain their own services without introducing those of their perceived rivals. Sony, certainly, has been looking to boost its roster of additional perks from PlayStation Plus Video Pass to now promising Discord integration on PlayStation sometime next year. Nintendo is changeable as a company, keeping itself to itself and working on projects at its own pace. It often doesn't feel the need to pay too much attention to the trends Xbox and PlayStation display, as it's coming up with its own fun gimmicks and projects elsewhere. Phil Spencer says he loves both PlayStation and Switch, so, it sounds like he's willing to spread some Game Pass love.
So the answer is: we don't know! While Xbox may be willing to share its toys, other companies including the likes of Sony and Nintendo just might not want Xbox getting too cosy on other platforms.
Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft
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