There’s no denying that rumors of major Xbox exclusives heading to PS5 have caused a great deal of controversy, with both sides of the debate weighing in. However, as much as I primarily play on PS5 and would love to enjoy all my console favorites in one place, I can’t help but feel like it’s a result of Xbox giving up and waving the white flag.
Nowadays, Xbox is one of only three major console manufacturers left standing and is one of the most beloved names in gaming due to its iconic franchises. Xbox exclusives like Halo, Fable and Gears of War were once the envy of PlayStation fans – similarly, there are plenty of PlayStation exclusives Xbox fans would love to own too.
However, with Xbox Series X|S hardware sales continuing their downward trend and Xbox Game Pass subscribers steadying out – despite the ever-growing collection of the best Xbox Game Pass games – it’s clear that change is necessary.
Ever since the Xbox One, and even more so since the Xbox Series X|S, we’ve all been clamoring for bigger and better exclusive games that give us a reason to purchase Microsoft’s consoles over Sony’s. Well, didn’t this just happen? Last year, we had the likes of Starfield and Hi-Fi Rush wow us all. In 2024 alone, we’ve got a tsunami of promising new Xbox games including Avowed, Hellblade 2, and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. There’s also State of Decay 3, Fable, The Elder Scrolls 6, and countless other exciting projects from first-party and third-party arriving in the future.
In other words, Xbox has finally assembled the stones for its own Infinity Gauntlet. This comes at the start of a year in which the PS5 is arguably lacking in exclusives outside of Helldivers 2, Pacific Drive, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and Stellar Blade in the first half. Many of Sony’s big-name games are set to release in 2025 or beyond.
With 2024 being Xbox’s year to deliver great console exclusives, there’s certainly room for hardware sales to increase. In fact, Starfield did just that at the tail end of 2023. So, with a stellar lineup and Sony on the back foot, why is Xbox potentially giving its exclusives to the other team?
Well, with Phil Spencer openly admitting that Microsoft is “not in the business of out-consoling Sony” in mid-2023, it’s clear that Microsoft is banking on increasing Xbox’s margins through game sales. Its exclusive live service titles like Sea of Thieves and Halo Infinite would undoubtedly benefit from PS5’s player base. Exciting upcoming first-party games like Indiana Jones would also unquestionably excel.
If Xbox was to adopt only a timed-exclusivity period for its titles, releasing first on Xbox and Game Pass before PlayStation months later, there would be some room for an Xbox console to exist. Nevertheless, with Xbox potentially making these major changes, it reveals a grim possibility that by the time the next console generation arrives, it will be a third-party publisher and PlayStation will lack true competition. After all, why would you buy an Xbox console when you could buy a PlayStation and get Sony’s stellar releases, as well as Xbox’s?
Xbox has gone through a lot of effort (and cash) to assemble an amazing lineup of studios that can provide excellent exclusives to its community. Now that many of those projects are now finally ready to go out the door, it seems unthinkable that it’s willing to throw in the towel and lean on its rival to help make these games a success.
While we wait for official information from Microsoft’s Xbox business update, dig into all the best Xbox games out right now and ponder how much of a shame it would be if Xbox stepped out of the console race.