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Game Pass won't come to PS5 or Switch because Sony and Nintendo 'don’t want’ it

xbox game pass deals
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s popular monthly subscription service that lets you download and play hundreds of games, won’t be coming to PS5 or Nintendo Switch anytime soon, according to head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

In an interview with GamesRadar, Spencer explained why we won’t see Xbox Game Pass on Sony or Nintendo’s platform in the near future, which may be disappointing for some. 

“We have no plans to bring it [Xbox Game Pass] to any other kind of closed platforms right now, mainly because those closed platforms don’t want something like Game Pass,” Spencer said. “There's a ton of open platforms out there for us to grow in: the web, PC, and mobile. So all of our focus, frankly, is on those platforms.”

Judging by Spencer’s comments, it seems like a discussion did take place about putting Xbox Game Pass on Switch or PS5, but it seems neither Sony or Nintendo were receptive to the idea.

Spencer did go on to say that he understands why Xbox’s rivals may be reluctant to put Microsoft’s service on its platforms, and believes it could be because it disrupts what both Sony and Nintendo are offering.

“I can see why the disruption of Game Pass is not something that they want right now,” said Spencer. “In the end, when we say we want everybody to be able to play on Xbox, we really mean if we can bring that full experience to a device that players want, we are totally open to those discussions.”


Analysis: it's clear why Sony and Nintendo don't want Xbox Game Pass

Press image of the Nintendo Switch OLED

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It isn’t a shock that neither Sony or Nintendo want Xbox Game Pass on its respective platforms, despite the value the service provides to consumers. Unlike Microsoft, whose first-party games are included on Game Pass on day one, both Sony and Nintendo sell its exclusives for full price, with Sony charging $70 / £70 for its PS5 exclusives.

Sony also has PS Now to consider, which could be cannibalized by Game Pass if it was on PS5. PS Now lets users download and play PS4 and PS2 games, and you can stream PS3 titles should you have decent internet speeds. However, it’s library is made up of older titles and PS Now doesn’t get day one releases like Xbox Game Pass. There’s also no PS5 games available on the service currently.

The closest thing Nintendo has to Xbox Game Pass is its Nintendo Switch Online membership, which lets you play a library of NES and SNES games. It’s easily the weakest offering when compared to Xbox Game Pass and PS Now, but it is significantly cheaper and included more as a perk for those who wish to play Switch games online.

It’s unlikely, then, that Nintendo or Sony will change its stance when it comes to allowing Xbox Game Pass on Switch or PS5 in the future due to how it would impact the companies current sales model, but Spencer, at least, remains open to the idea.

Adam Vjestica

Adam is a Senior Gaming Writer at TechRadar. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. (He’s still recovering to this day.)