With all kinds of Xbox rumours flying around, Microsoft has announced that it will share "the future of Xbox" next week – and it looks like cross-platform gaming is going to be one of the things Microsoft will be revealing.
As we reported yesterday, Microsoft is rumoured to be bringing some of its biggest hitters to the PlayStation 5: titles mooted include Starfield, Sea of Thieves and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.
Posting yesterday on X/Twitter, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said: "We're listening and we hear you. We've been planning a business update event for next week, where we look forward to sharing more details with you about our vision for the future of Xbox. Stay tuned."
What can we expect from the Microsoft future of Xbox announcement?
According to The Verge, Microsoft was already planning to make an announcement about its cross-platform plans – but the leaks and speculation have persuaded it to bring that announcement forward. Citing "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans", the report says that the announcement would include the launch of Hi-Fi Rush for both PS5 and Switch. It's now expected to address the cross-platform gaming rumours more widely.
The rumours have had a mixed response online, with some gamers worried that it means the end of Xbox exclusives and others pointing out that Microsoft has been promising more open gaming since it announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard: Microsoft has said that it wasn't buying big-name studios to hoard their games, but to make them more widely available.
One of the most persuasive predictions I'm seeing online is that Microsoft will make select games available to rival services but will still keep a period of exclusivity first for its Game Pass subscribers; Game Pass itself will remain exclusive to Xbox and PC, with more of a push for cloud gaming on other platforms – including iPhone and iPad, which have just changed their App Store rules in a way that's made them much more receptive to multi-game apps.
I'm hoping that whatever Microsoft does announce, it does so clearly so that would-be Xbox buyers know exactly what the "future of Xbox" is going to be. We'll find out in a few days.