Xbox One games could make their way to the PS4 in the future, with Microsoft's Phil Spencer suggesting that the console's first-party titles may one day release on other platforms.
Spencer, the head of the Xbox team at Microsoft, discussed the company's plans with bringing Xbox One games to other platforms with the Wall Street Journal. The excerpt of the editorial touching upon the company bringing its exclusives to other systems reads:
"Microsoft in September promoted Xbox chief Phil Spencer to executive vice president, reporting directly to Chief Executive Satya Nadella rather than Windows chief Terry Myerson.
In an interview, Mr. Spencer said his new role is designed, in part, to give him more latitude to reach gamers on any device, rather than using “gaming to make Windows more successful.”
That means, one day, more Microsoft first-party games could appear on other platforms, he said, such as Apple Inc.’s iPhones or perhaps even Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, as its building game “Minecraft” does."
Discussing the reasoning behind Microsoft branching out beyond its Xbox One when it comes to selling its software, the editorial continued:
"Mr. Spencer acknowledged console sales are important, but said Microsoft is more focused on growing game software and services. He said the company measures the success of its gaming business by revealing the number of people who use its online service Xbox Live, for example."
Some readers of the article believed that Spencer's comments had been misinterpreted, and that rather than suggesting that Xbox One games could eventually make their way to the PS4, he was instead referring to systems outside of Sony's console as they are a direct competitor of Microsoft's. However, in a tweet responding to a follower criticizing the article, Spencer wrote:
Today we ship Minecraft on other platforms, we all know that, no plans to expand this right now.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 6, 2017
Minecraft is currently published by Microsoft Studios, with it also being available to purchase on the PS4. While first-party Microsoft titles such as the Halo and Gears of War franchises remain Xbox One console exclusives, Microsoft has strongly pushed the idea of cross-platform play on the PS4, meaning that it isn't outside of the realms of reason to assume that they wouldn't be opposed to sharing first-party Xbox One games with Sony.
Microsoft could be looking to bring about a change in the way that we think about the home console market, where mostly the same games release on all platforms and hardware manufacturers instead compete to deliver the most appealing console, rather than the one that houses the most exclusives. With the Xbox One having the most powerful family of systems on the market thanks to the release of the Xbox One X, this tactic wouldn't benefit Sony at this juncture, though there's no telling what the future holds in store for console gaming. Though Spencer hasn't outright referred to the PS4, his comments in the interview and on Twitter seem to suggest that while there are no plans to collaborate with Sony, such a deal isn't completely off the cards.