As the Nintendo Switch receives more and more hit games from other home consoles – whether that’s the demanding Doom Eternal, the massive The Witcher 3 RPG, or indie platformer Cuphead – many gamers may be asking what other PS4 games or Xbox One games could make their way to the humble hybrid console.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has attempted to temper those expectations, though, saying in an IGN podcast that he wanted to bring the conversation back to games on Xbox, rather than what other platform they might end up on.
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”I think more and more about what does a full Xbox experience mean on different platforms,” said Spencer. “Right now, it seems like when any game comes out, there's that, ‘is this one going here, is this one going there’. I'd rather be able to set more of an Xbox-level expectation for our fans on where things are going to go.”
Spencer added: “I thought we did that with our first party when we talked about games shipping on Xbox and PC, and I got some blow-back from certain people in certain groups on that, but at least we set an expectation on that.
”I'd rather see us get to that point on the different pieces of hardware we're on, so I guess I'll kind of leave it there.”
A second life on Switch
A big part of the appeal of cross-platform releases, whether they happen on launch day or take a few years, is that the audience of a game gets much larger. It’s usually a lot better for the reach of a game not to be tied to one platform – and the bestselling Nintendo Switch console has certainly got the interest of developers who may not have seen themselves publishing on a Nintendo machine before.
The Switch has upended expectations about what kinds of ports are possible, too, with a host of Bethesda games such as Doom and Wolfenstein: The New Order coming to the platform despite being quite technically-demanding AAA shooters. Running The Witcher 3 on a Switch’s processor is no mean feat, either, even if the port arrived a good four years after the gamer’s initial release.
It makes sense that Spencer wants the hype around an Xbox game to be about Xbox, rather than Nintendo; however, especially when the architecture of competing consoles is getting more similar with each generation, and exclusivity to specific platforms or time frames is largely arbitrary, fans are going to be expecting more collaboration between the likes of Xbox and Nintendo going forward, not less.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.