Imagine a future where you can play Halo or Gears of War on a PlayStation platform. Well, that future is a “possibility,” according to Phil Spencer.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Spencer revealed that he has been given the freedom to reach gamers on any platform. Of course, this is not a simple matter of making some of Xbox’s strongest titles multi-platform — it’s part of a larger strategy to increase the Xbox Live membership base.
The concept is simple enough to understand. With the PlayStation 4 having a larger global installation base than the Xbox One, the plan would be for PSN users to get Xbox exclusives and sign into Xbox Live in order to play them (think EA Access or Uplay). As such, those with a PlayStation would be able to play an Xbox game and Microsoft would still see increases as far as Xbox Live memberships and monthly active users are concerned.
Unfortunately, the reality is a bit more complicated and Sony is partly to blame.
The Japan-based company is notorious for being uncooperative when it comes to making any collaborative efforts with its rival. A notable example of this is Microsoft’s Minecraft, which is available on essentially every relevant platform under the sun — including the PlayStation 4. However, while a major update from earlier this year allowed crossplay between every platform (iPhone x Xbox One, for example), the PlayStation 4 still lacks this feature. In fact, the Switch will be getting this update later this year but PSN users seem to be forever forced to only play with other PSN users.
There are other complications, however, with a notable one being how Xbox Live would be handled on the PlayStation. What separates services like EA Access or Uplay from Xbox Live is that the former services are free, while the latter is subscription based. Will PSN users need to subscribe to Xbox Live just to play the game or is it only needed for online multiplayer?
In the end, Phil Spencer does have the freedom to bring Xbox exclusives to PlayStation platforms, but Sony is the one who gets final say on the matter and it has shown that it wants nothing to do with Microsoft’s cross-platform push.
So while Halo or Gears of War appearing on a PlayStation platform is a possibility, don’t expect this happening anytime soon — if it all.
Check out the full interview here.