The Xbox Series X and PS5 are going head-to-head next month, and both consoles cater to their audience with unique features and services, while sharing multiplatform games that keeps their more ardent fans butting heads over which is the superior piece of hardware.
The Xbox Series X offers its Game Pass Ultimate Netflix-style subscription service that gives players access to a huge library of games, including new releases. Meanwhile, Sony has carried on the tradition of snagging stellar exclusives, with standout titles this current generation.
But now it looks like Microsoft could have its hands on exclusives so big that even hardcore PlayStation fans could jump ship for its console.
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In an interview with Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer was asked whether it would be possible for Microsoft to recoup the $7.5bn it spend on buying ZeniMax – parent company of Bethesda, the studio behind The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and the upcoming Starfield.
"Yes," Spencer immediately answered, before adding that the motivation behind the acquisition wasn't "to take games away from another player base like that," reiterating the stance Xbox has taken when it comes to next-gen: "we want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games."
While he didn't say that Microsoft has any intention to keep Bethesda's roster of titles platform-exclusive, he did elaborate:
"But I’ll also say in the model – I’m just answering directly the question that you had– when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means."
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Microsoft has been very clear that it will honor any exclusivity deals that pre-dated the purchase, but has also been very transparent that dropping such a huge load of cash doesn't mean it needs to launch any upcoming Bethesda games on multiple platforms, because it's doing just fine, thank you very much.
If the company stands by its ethos, there shouldn't be any need for PS5 players to worry, but if timed-exclusivity rears its head, and you're champing at the bit for your next instalment of Fallout or The Elder Scrolls, you may want to consider your next-gen console choice very carefully.