Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has quietly criticised other developers that port their games to PC after initial release, and charge full price for the new versions. Spencer didn’t say he was talking about PlayStation… but he was talking about PlayStation.
In a video shown to press this week, Spencer explained Xbox is currently, “the only platform shipping games on console, PC and cloud simultaneously.” He then compared that to other companies. “Others bring console games to PC years later, not only making people buy their hardware up front, but then charging them a second time to play on PC. And of course, all of our games are in our subscription service day one, full cross-platform included.”
Sony only recently began creating PC ports for its first-party PlayStation exclusives, but it’s recently committed to the idea. PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst recently said there was clear appetite for the PC ports, but that “PlayStation will remain the best place to play our PlayStation Studios titles at launch.”
As Spencer points out, PlayStation’s current strategy is to release its games on console first, with full-priced PC ports following at a later date – a marked difference to the Xbox Play Anywhere approach that sees all Xbox first-party games sold at a single price, offering access on all supported platforms.
As part of Spencer’s presentation, Xbox also announced that it would commit to bringing at least one first-party game to Xbox Game Pass every quarter going forward. It was part of a wider new push to bring Xbox experiences to as many people as possible regardless of whether they have consoles, including building Xbox apps into new TVs.
While a little coded, it’s an unexpected criticism from the usually generous Spencer – who also recently called console tribalism “one of the worst things in the industry.”