DF Weekly: what should expect from Xbox’s business update this week?

February 12, 2024
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In this week’s DF Direct Weekly, we spend some quality time with Helldivers 2, get to grips with the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth demo and say a lot of positive things about the upcoming Penny’s Big Breakaway – but discussion is dominated by the big Microsoft story. Just what’s going on with its multi-platform plans? Why didn’t the Xbox team provide immediate clarity and shut down rumours that have clearly spiralled out of control? If a ‘business update’ is coming this week, does that mean that some or all of the rumours are true?

The rumours in question are suggesting that a number of Xbox-exclusive titles are on their way to other platforms. On the face of it, that’s nothing new. A number of Xbox properties have transitioned across to rival platforms – including PlayStation. Acquired IPs such as Minecraft and Call of Duty have always been multi-platform and will continue to be. The notion of lower profile games such as Hi-Fi Rush or Pentiment moving over to other consoles also shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. Indeed, by exposing more users to these games, Microsoft may even gain some converts to its ecosystem – whether it’s on console or PC.

The bone of contention appears to be its higher profile exclusives, with the likes of Halo and Indiana Jones mentioned – and that’s caused a spectacular backlash, particularly amongst the Xbox influencers on Twitter/X who have relationships with Xbox execs. The theory, as I understand it, is this: if the crown jewels of the Xbox experience are available on PlayStation, why would anyone need an Xbox? Buying a PlayStation would offer access to the best of both worlds, negating the need to buy an Xbox in the first place. In turn, this has led to conjecture that Microsoft may even exit the hardware market.

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