Xbox's big announcement could change gaming forever

The end of the exclusives era?

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Microsoft)

It's not really debatable that at least in pure sales, the PS5 has trumped the Xbox Series X, but Microsoft has now announced a bold new strategy that could change the gaming industry's tribal lines. 

The big Xbox news that we were all waiting for arrived yesterday (the 15th of February) and Phil Spencer firmly denied that the company would stop producing hardware, and in fact touted that its next machine will be "the largest technological leap ever seen". But perhaps the most surprising news was that Xbox will be willingly making some of its exclusive titles available on other systems. 

As of now, four Xbox exclusives are in development for the PS5 and Nintendo Switch. We don't yet know which titles they are, Spencer did however describe two as community-driven titles and two as 'smaller' games. 

It's popular belief that the games he is referring to are Hi-Fi Rush, Sea of Thieves, Pentiment and Grounded. These aren't necessarily the highest-profile games on the platform (there was some speculation Starfield would be among the titles) but they are all top-quality works. 

Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Rare/Microsoft)

Presumably, if it goes well, more and more Xbox exclusives will make their way to other systems too, meaning we could one day even see iconic series like Halo and Gears of War on PlayStation. That would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. There has been no word on Nintendo and Sony doing the same with their titles, and why would they?

One thing that Microsoft stressed Xbox (and PC) would retain, however, is exclusive access to Xbox Game Pass. The subscription service is one of the best ways to game, offering hundreds of titles (often with day one releases) at a monthly cost and it will not be coming to PlayStation or Nintendo Switch. Microsoft's spending spree on the likes of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard has given them a wealth of games old and new to make the service more appealing than ever, so I don't think anyone needs to worry about them leaving gaming just yet. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.