Microsoft Open to Services Like Xbox Game Pass on Switch, Wanting to Blur the Lines Between Devices

During Microsoft's lengthy E3 2019 presentation, it was clear that the platform holder is moving the Xbox brand in numerous directions. Xbox Game Pass is on Xbox One and PC, Project xCloud is bringing Xbox games to mobile devices, and Project Scarlett is keeping up the high-end. Even the advertisements of Gears of War 5 around downtown Los Angeles tout the game being on "Xbox Game Pass," as opposed to "Xbox One".

Xbox corporate vice president of services Mike Ybarra admitted that the future vision of the Xbox brand is a slate of games you can play on almost any device.

timotim3d ago

I'm loving this recent approach by Microsoft to have the popularity of the various platforms working to their benefit instead of trying to compete with everyone. The fullness of the PC platform on Windows is now what Microsoft is catering to...not just their own store, but the hundreds of millions of gamers on PC. Theirs nothing quite like Gamepass on PC and they are given PC gamers (and console gamers that want the freedom to play anywhere) great value. This is what Phil means when he says its not about how much hardware you sell...its about the strength of your ecosystem.

shaggy23033d ago

Sales figures used to be important, but the direction Microsoft is heading it seems sales now mean nothing.

As we all know consoles usually sell at a loss (initially) if Microsoft's new business model means their revenue is increased by subscriptions, then this could mean that perhaps the next xbox could be sold at a much bigger loss than usual.

Just my thoughts

mikeslemonade3d ago

This is great, core gaming laying in bed on tablet. While using the Xbox or the PC as the server.

timotim3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

😄...the disagrees won't change that guys. Microsoft is going to sell more games and subscriptions by targeting more platforms. To go off antiquated ideas of whoever sells the most consoles is somehow the "winner", is laughable. How many people is actively in your ecosystem is the new business model. Microsoft is about strengthening and expanding that ecosystem. Having compelling reasons for gamers to invest in it all, not just one type of console hardware...but PC hardware, console hardware, mobile and accessories, as well as services. They currently have the most amount of gamers in their ecosystem by being able to sell services and games to the console, PC and mobile markets with the intention to expand on this reach as time goes on. No one else is doing this right now. Fanboys want things to stay the same so that they can stay in their comfortable bubble...the industry is evolving.

Its not that sales means nothing now...its just that sales of one particular box doesn't make up the whole story anymore. Example...Sony could in fact lead in CONSOLE hardware sales in this upcoming generation, yet still not have as an active ecosystem as Microsoft does as a whole. Microsoft could sell way more games and have way more users playing games in their ecosystem. Would console sales be the only metric of success in that case???

AspiringProGenji3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

I think what you are trying to say will still be a pipe dream. If MS really wanted to do what you just said they would also want the service on PlayStation so they can forget about competition and just make money. PC is eqsy to support, but making gamepass available for other consoles isn’t. Let Sony and Nintendo still go with the “antiquated” ideas. That is what will keep pushing the industry forward, not chasing eveyone’s money with less effort

Sega went multiplatform but how much has thatbreally help them compared to their golden days? Sonic has been mostly a damn mess since it went multiplatform l. Opening to more devices don’t necessary mean more money. They have to make good content first

timotim3d ago


Pipe dream? It is already happening right now. PC gamers are able to download and subscribe to XGP PC right now with over 100 titles available. A new Xbox app for PC is available to any Windows 10 user on the 1903 update, complete with new games store.

MCC and future Xbox games will be hitting Steam day and date. Microsoft demoed Halo 5 being streamed to Android phones. Microsoft is cultivating their platforms (and others) for their benefit. No pipe dream needed.

Donnie813d ago

Facts are this approach is gonna make a lot of money

rainslacker3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Question....why would Nintendo or other non-open platforms bother with something like this? They could do their own services, and not share with MS. MS gets the sub costs, while the platform holders get their typical cut...maybe a set payout to allow it? Publishers get to pay the licensing fees to sell it on a Nintendo platform without MS help, but MS gets to pay them to undermine that sale? In this case, Nintendo doesn't get their typical licensing fee?

I fail to see how this is even possible to happen given how consoles make money. If consoles were open, and they didn't make their money off licensing fees, then sure, whatever. But what MS proposes is highly unlikely to happen. I guess they could deliver their own games through the service, but MS is basically making a game pass version for Nintendo games? What's the point?

Just yet another time where Spencer wants to play the good guy, knowing that it won't happen. Saying something good, to make himself and MS look good.

If he's open to it, then approach these companies and do it. So tired of saying what he'd like to see. If he's committed, then do it. He's not trying to gauge customer reaction. Saying things like this doesn't make it happen. He has Nintendo's phone number. Just f**king do it.

The more and more I see Spencer say these things, it's apparent they want to be a 3rd party publisher, and provide services, the same way Ubi and EA are now providing services that deliver games in a non-traditional manner. They just want to have some control over every thing, even if they aren't invested in that platform. They want an MAU from everywhere, no matter what it is.

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UltraNova3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

That's a load of bullshit. Ever heard of the saying "if you can't beat them, join them"? That's MS's approach going forward. If they had the content (games) to directly compete with Sony and Nintendo they wouldn't even mention this play anywhere thing and would pursuit closed systems like crazy both on console and PC. But alas they acknowledged they lost once and for all and are now open to provide their services to anyone that wants to take them. They adapted...good on them it shows MS is learning how to play with others. The problem is MS fanboys who believe that all this was MS vision from the start, a grand plan spanning almost two decades. No it wasn't, MS loves near-monopolistic market control as much as any other massive company but they couldn't pull it off in the gaming industry. Now its all about play anywhere.

Edit: PSN alone made more money than Xbox and Nintendo combined. Let that sink in for a minute.

timotim3d ago

Joining who??? Microsoft owns Windows!!! 😄 it is their platform. They are just being smart about how they do their business now to reach more gamers on their own platform. Instead of competing with other services on their platform, they now see that the overall strength of the platform...its vibrancy, is whats most important. If you didn't look at things with fanboy glasses on, you would understand this. And yes, it has been in the making for over a decade now. GFWL was the baby steps of this and was started last generation when Microsoft was in fact the leader of console sales at the time with Xbox 360 back in 2007.

Microsoft is currently the only ones supporting competing platforms much as anyone of the major players in the tech space. Amazon, Apple, nor Google supports as many platforms as Microsoft with services. Its one of the reasons why they are the most valuable company in the world. They are even willing to share with Sony and PS with the Azure service.

"PSN alone made more money than Xbox and Nintendo combined. Let that sink in for a minute."

I don't know why you chose to say that, but I am talking about where the industry is going, not its current state...your fanboy is really shining through. I take nothing away from what Sony was able to accomplish this generation...I said nothing bad about their current sales...but PSN on PS consoles alone is not enough to outpace console, PC and mobile for Microsoft which is what they currently targeting. This was the central message of their E3 conference...that PC, mobile and console is now apart of their ecosystem in a big way.

itsmebryan3d ago

@Ultranova which company do you think will make more money Sony or Microsoft? In business that is how success is really determined.

Atom6663d ago

It's a sound business approach that finally took hold across all of MS only this decade.

Landscapes change, and the only way for MS to grow was to start opening up to the idea of taking their services and software to the end users, rather than always requiring them to come to MS, which doesn't work in such a competition-rich tech industry.

Nadella has done well to change a lot of how MS does business for the better. They still remain too reactive and too quick to pull out of fields at times imo, but you can't argue with his success. Now that same approach is being pushed through the gaming division. Smart.

Your PSN calculation is wrong btw. PSN brought in more than either individual competitor, not combined.

trooper_3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

The only reason why they don't want to compete is because they have to hold those L's Sony gave them.

I supposed it's good news for you guys since you don't want real exclusives.

timotim3d ago

More fanboy talk. I don't care about exclusives for a particular box...I care about playing GOOD GAMES!!! Halo Infinite is a game that Im looking forward play that game anywhere, at anytime is whats powerful about the ecosystem. The fact that it wont be tied to a certain box is liberating!!!😆 It means I can play it in Microsoft's ecosystem regardless...on console, PC or even mobile devices. Why you brag about being limited to a certain box is beyond me....

trooper_3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

You're really not fooling anyone when you're saying you don't care about exclusives. That's what sells a console, not this crap Microsoft is feeding you guys.

By the way, this is real talk. Calling it fanboy talk doesn't make it any less true.

Nu3d ago

Gears of War and Halo on Switch would be epic

rainslacker3d ago

Sure, but you shouldn't have to sign up for a service to get it. They could release both on Switch. If they want to go that route, they should.

Nu3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

It's a service like Netflix remember. They need to make money. Live is better than Sony and Nintendo's services combined.

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phoenixwing3d ago

They should just be a publisher and be done with it instead of creating a console competition. They should stop making xbox's then maybe sony would let them have a service on their system.

TK-663d ago

If they went to Sony right now and said "we want Game Pass and all our games on your system" and Sony refused because Xbox consoles exist then I'd be willing to walk up to every Sony exec involved in that decision and slap them in the face. Who in their right mind would turn down such a good business decision?

phoenixwing3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

How is it a good business decision? First off you're letting your competitor sell their store on your system when you could be making more money just by selling it directly. Most of the games offered by microsoft are multiplat. The only reason to allow the store is to get a few exclusives on it such as forza/halo/gears. So microsoft would have to agree to only sell those instead of their full store which is redundant considering sony has it already and is making better margins without a middle man. Microsoft wouldn't agree to the terms and if they did they should just as I said before, be a publisher.

SamPao3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

dude. really, a console maker publishing games from other publishers on a console of the competitor?
In what kind of world would that be a good business decision?
These publishers can just publish it themselfs on the consoles. duh

TK-663d ago (Edited 3d ago )

"First off you're letting your competitor sell their store"

False. Youre allowing their subscription service to be available on SONYS store. Sony still gets their usual cut but MS would probably get a smaller cut of 3rd party sales through Game Pass and Sony would have every 1st party MS game available on their system making the Playstaion vastly more attractive.

"Most of the games offered by microsoft are multiplat. The only reason to allow the store is to get a few exclusives on it such as forza/halo/gears"

Why are you talking about the Xbox Live store? Stop pushing this ridiculous scenario. Tell me in what world do you believe Sony allowing Gamepass on their system hinders their business? Tell me how the disadvantages outweigh the benefits that would come like dominating the console market?

You're pushing this fake and unrealistic scenario to justify your position and I never suggested anything like MS putting their store on Sony's system so I don't know why you're talking about it.

timotim3d ago

You're looking at it the wrong way. For starters...they are a publisher...they publish games on various platforms and even what once was competing services like Steam day and date. However, to suggest that they should stop making consoles is ridiculous. Why would they even need Sony to "let them have a service on their system" when they can do that for themselves??? Microsoft is the world's most valuable company...they have enough money in the bank fund their own hardware. In fact, you already have your wish as Sony is already in talks with Microsoft to have the Azure service as the backbone to Sony's cloud and entertainment solution for the future. Why would Microsoft limit themselves when they can already have their cake and eat it too???

phoenixwing3d ago

If you publish games on a bigger install base you make more money. However the money microsoft makes from subs is substantial so theyd have to publish more games to make up for it except msoft are lazy and would rather go the easy route and be in third place as a console maker

yomfweeee3d ago

Why would Microsoft want Gamepass on Playstation? Because they have 100 million customers. This isn't rocket science.

Neonridr3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

so you'd rather just everyone else exit the market and let Sony have a monopoly? Competition forces greatness and innovation.

phoenixwing3d ago

No nintendo is fine as competition. Microsoft is the one id want to leave. They started us down the rabbit hole of paying for online.

King_Noctis3d ago

Hah. At this point Sony would welcome MS with open arms if it mean all Xbox games would appear on Playstation. You don’t seem to know how business work.

rainslacker3d ago

MS could release their games on PS4/5 if they wanted to. MS chooses not to. They didn't say they want to release these games on the system, they said they want people to subscribe to their services on other platforms. What content that is would be different, and MS only cares about the MAU's.

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timotim3d ago

If its one LESS reason to buy an Xbox console, then the flip side of that would be one MORE reason to invest in Microsoft's own gaming platform on Windows, yes? In that case Microsoft is equally as happy as it will all equal out in the end and they will continue to expand their business. Remember, Microsoft's success doesn't ride solely on console sales anymore, so you or anyone else can invest in Windows under this new business model and Microsoft will still benefit from it...brilliant right??? Now, even when Microsoft puts their games from Steam, they are directly contributing to the success of their own Windows platform and gaming ecosystem...its win win all around.

What you want to do is publicly advertise how the console isn't needed as some knock against Microsoft...yet if you use your PC to buy Xbox games on PC, you are still a gamer in Microsoft's ecosystem. The knock and hope however, is that you can continue to brag about console sales being lower than that of Sony's while totally missing the whole point for Microsoft haha. Its the fanboy mentality that is laughable here.

And its not a bigger install base. PS4 with its 100 million install base is not larger than Xbox One + Windows and mobile...with the potential of other platforms coming online in the future. You are also forgetting the fact that next gen these consoles are starting over from scratch. PS5 doesn't have 100 million install base currently...we don't know how that will pan out.

TheSaint2d ago

Stop drinking the kool aid.

rainslacker3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Buying a game on a console platform, is investing in the Windows platform if it's a MS game?

I don't invest in Origin when I buy a Mass Effect game. I don't invest in uPlay when I buy and play Rayman.

Games are not a platform. They are games. Sometimes, you have to sign up for a platform to get everything a game has to offer. Something which is annoying.

This is the disconnect that xbox fan boys seem to have about what is what. They think that because people may want or buy a MS game, that they are somehow investing in MS as a platform holder.

When you buy a Sony game, or a Nintendo game, on their respective platforms, you invested in the platform to play those games on. Then you buy the games to make that platform relevant. MS releasing their games on other platforms only makes those platforms more valuable to own, while MS does nothing to build it's own. With something like services, they get to keep people in a platform, even if it's on another platform. They get the MAU they want, and can say to their investors how many people they can potentially make money off of. Both Sony and Nintendo do have expansions to their platform and ecosystem through various services or games, but they are mostly on platforms which aren't attached to any specific identity and aren't competiting, so they can get customers from new areas. What MS is talking about is trying to syphon users into their platform, by using other companies to do so.

awdevoftw3d ago

I like to collect games I like, not have a service filled with 90 percent of games I'll never play, but pay for every month. If a service based thing works for you, great. It will never be the way to game for me.

Neonridr3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

so you also don't see a use for Playstation Now then? or is that different? :P

awdevoftw3d ago

No, I dont like any of the services. Ps plus was ok for the discounts. Now being required for online, I dont even like that.

Neonridr3d ago

@awdevoftw - fair enough, thanks for clarifying.

timotim3d ago

Sounds good to me Sir. I can even agree with you to an extent. That's the reason why I feel Stadia will be in trouble once they launch, other than the small amount of launch titles, they will be forcing you into a subscription service, like it or not. However, that's not the case with Microsoft...they are giving gamers the OPTION to do mix and match as their scenarios change. This is the best approach, but I definitely understand if its not for you.

awdevoftw3d ago

Of course they want their service on everything. Like a parasite, they want to make money off the host.

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