Microsoft has no plans to bring future Xbox exclusive titles to the Nintendo Switch or PS4, according to a company statement. Although most of the system's more well-known franchises like Gears of War and Halo have never surfaced on competitor's consoles, rumors of what could happen in the wake of Microsoft bringing Xbox Live to the Nintendo Switch have kept fans curious as to the developer's next steps.
Minecraft, which has been owned and supported by Microsoft since 2014, has been one of the few Xbox properties to make the jump to other consoles. Recently, Nintendo announced that former Xbox-exclusive Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition was also coming to the Switch, which quickly led fans to wonder whether the game's 2020 sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, would arrive on Nintendo's console as well. This news, coupled with the appearance of Microsoft-owned Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and both companies recent pushing for cross play between systems, seemed to point at a future filled with console crossovers.
Unfortunately, according to an official statement given to GamesIndustry.biz, Microsoft has no intentions of bringing future Xbox exclusive titles to anything other than Microsoft platforms. However, they do still plan to make their games accessible on other devices through their own streaming service, xCloud, and their PC-focused version of Xbox Game Pass, which hosts over 100 games from past and present Xbox systems. The company said they "continue to believe deeply in cross play," but stated that looking forward, they "have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles."
In the past year a number of game development studios have been acquired by Microsoft, including Double Fine and Obsidian, which currently have upcoming titles slated for release on the Switch. To their credit, Microsoft has promised, "We are aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them," saying it's only once these past obligations are upheld that the new studios will begin working on new, Xbox exclusive projects.
Although cooperation between competitors can be a nice change of pace from the vitriolic console wars of the past, exclusivity will almost certainly always be a part of the gaming experience. In the same way that companies like Netflix and Hulu need original content to keep subscribers on their platforms, console manufactures like Sony and Microsoft need exclusive games on their systems in order to differentiate themselves to consumers. While that does mean hopeful players may never see the likes of Xbox exclusives like Forza on a Nintendo console, some solace can be taken in the fact that competition breeds creativity, and at least we'll never have to witness the frame rate drops such a collaboration would inevitably result in.