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Phil Spencer: Closed Platforms Like Switch and PS5 Don't Want Game Pass

Phil Spencer: Closed Platforms Like Switch and PS5 Don't Want Game Pass - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 November 2021 / 3,339 Views

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer in an interview with GamesRadar has said Xbox Game Pass will not be coming to closed platforms like the Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 5 as they don't want something like Game Pass. 

"I want the full Xbox experience to be something that we deliver," said Spencer. "We have no plans to bring it to any other kind of closed platforms right now, mainly because those closed platforms don't want something like Game Pass.

"There's a ton of open platforms out there for us to grow in: the web, PC, and mobile. So all of our focus, frankly, is on those platforms."

Spencer added that he understands why Nintendo or Sony wouldn't want Xbox Game Pass on their platforms. He will remain open to any platform that is willing to have the full Xbox experience in the future.

"That's not a slam on anybody else who has a system that works for them," he added. "I can see why the disruption of Game Pass is not something that they want right now.

"In the end, when we say we want everybody to be able to play on Xbox, we really mean if we can bring that full experience to a device that players want, we are totally open to those discussions."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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74 Comments
thevideogameninja (on 13 August 2021)

I don't think this is any kind of revelation to anyone out there.

Why the heck would Nintendo or Sony want a main competitor to be promoting games on their platforms?
I mean, at that point the line between the different brands would be so blurred there would be no reason for someone to insist on getting one system over another.

I will say this though, it would be nice to have one console that could access all games though.

Unfortunately that is a pipe dream right now and for most gamers they only have funds, access, and/or time for one console. But perhaps... perhaps one day that may change...

-THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE/HIGHLANDER NINJA APPROVED-

  • +25
trunkswd thevideogameninja (on 13 August 2021)

PC is getting there will all Xbox games on day one and now getting some PlayStation games.

  • +5
Ka-pi96 trunkswd (on 14 August 2021)

Yep, just need Nintendo to join the party and we'll have it all!

  • +1
Matsku Ka-pi96 (on 14 August 2021)

That will unfortunately only happen if Nintendo does a Sega.

  • -2
zero129 Ka-pi96 (on 16 August 2021)

Well ya know if your willing to go the emulation root you pretty much have all Nintendo games day 1 too ;-) .

  • -1
Azzanation thevideogameninja (on 13 August 2021)

Game Pass will actually benefit platforms just as much. PS5 and Switch owners will get 1st party Xbox games greatly promoting the brand. So as much as some might think it devalues the other platforms for having it, it also increases the value of the platforms just as much.

  • -6
Bristow9091 Azzanation (on 13 August 2021)

If anything it'd make the PS5 and Switch look even more attractive than XBOX, since they'd have access to Sony/Nintendo first party games as well as Game Pass, lol. That'd be quite nice but I get the feeling it won't be happening any time soon, if at all.

  • +3
Azzanation Bristow9091 (on 13 August 2021)

That's what i am saying. GamePass will boost the platforms its on.

  • +1
DonFerrari Bristow9091 (on 13 August 2021)

Sure if MS was offering GP as standalone and just for their 1st party content Sony and MS could be willing to accept, but we know they also want to push their Gold on it, have 3rd party games there (for which they would get the money not the platform) and possibly full control of the GP. So we do know MS wouldn't be doing it out of the kindness of their heart. Because let's be real if they wanted to just have GP for everyone and didn't care about HW as they say, they wouldn't have Series, they would just have the service and without being competition they would have a easier time offering the sub .

  • -1
Azzanation DonFerrari (on 14 August 2021)

Exactly, MS want to make more money, HW isnt thier main focus. GP on PS5 will stop PS owners from buying Xbox HW which is what you care about the most.

  • -3
VAMatt (on 14 August 2021)

If you read between the lines here, it sounds like either Sony or Nintendo would be cool with some version of Gamepass, but not the whole, standard thing. My guess is that whoever it is said "sure, we'll allow all XB console exclusive games on a GP for Switch (for example), but you have to take everything else off of the service on our platform." This would allow the platform holder to continue selling third-party games, rather than people getting them on GP and the platform holder missing out on those sales. That doesn't work for MS though, hence the "full Xbox experience" language.

  • +14
DonFerrari VAMatt (on 16 August 2021)

For me that is pretty clear. MS wants either full control and their service as is or nothing at all, and well that benefits MS but not Sony or Ninty.

  • +3
xl-klaudkil (on 13 August 2021)

Xbox is a closed platform because they dont want psnow..

  • +14
smroadkill15 xl-klaudkil (on 13 August 2021)

You know this because..? I'm sure MS would be more than willing to have PSNow on Xbox consoles if Sony allowed Game Pass on Playstation devices. I'd be cool with it.

  • +1
LittleCloud smroadkill15 (on 13 August 2021)

GamePass isn't on Steam despite the fact that EA has EA Play on Steam. MS would need to share revenue with Valve and that isn't currently happening.

  • +7
smroadkill15 LittleCloud (on 13 August 2021)

MS is already sharing revenue with Valve by releasing games on Steam. There was a rumor back in April about Valve wanting Game Pass on Steam and I'm sure MS is down with Game Pass being on the most popular PC gaming platform.

  • +2
DonFerrari smroadkill15 (on 13 August 2021)

So Sony is sharing revenue with MS by allowing Minecraft on PS or by having MLB The Show on Xbox... you can pick the two sides of the argument to yourself.

  • +8
smroadkill15 DonFerrari (on 14 August 2021)

There is a difference between having one IP on a separate platform vs all of them. Steam is important to Xbox's success on PC so it makes sense to continue building that success with Game Pass on Steam.

  • +4
LittleCloud smroadkill15 (on 14 August 2021)

There's also a difference between putting a few individual games on Steam and sharing all the subscription money each month.

  • +4
smroadkill15 LittleCloud (on 15 August 2021)

I I don't see why it's so far fetched for Xbox and Valve to come up with a Game Pass version on Steam. It's been talked about before. I'm sure they would come up with something that benefits both of them.

  • 0
DonFerrari smroadkill15 (on 16 August 2021)

Not impossible to have Steam and Xbox team up to have GP over there as long as both see benefitial. This have nothing to do with the situation on PS or Nintendo allowing it though.

  • 0
LittleCloud smroadkill15 (on 17 August 2021)

Given that EA Play is on Steam, despite the Spencer rhetoric the stumbling block seems to be MS, not Valve.

  • +4
LittleCloud smroadkill15 (on 14 August 2021)

Let's see if they release a native SteamOS client for GamePass. Given that SteamOS and Deck aren't going to be locked down in any way, they can just go ahead and release their client stand-alone. I'm eager to see if MS put their money where their mouth is regarding open platforms.

  • +5
LittleCloud xl-klaudkil (on 13 August 2021)

They don't want any service that generates money for someone else. Xbox is essentially a Windows PC but locked down. We could install Epic Games Store and play all those free games without ever subscription money ever flowing to MS if it wasn't locked down.

  • +19
Pemalite LittleCloud (on 14 August 2021)

Any 3rd party service... I.E. EA Play, Gamepass etc'. The Platform holder will take a % of revenues, it's just how these things work.

  • +2
LittleCloud Pemalite (on 14 August 2021)

I know that but there's the suggestion being thrown around that Xbox is an open platform. On open platforms you can sidestep that, just as Epic released the Fortnite launcher outside the Google PlayStore.

  • +5
dane007 xl-klaudkil (on 13 August 2021)

Why would anyone want psnow. The streaming quality for ps1, 2 and 3 games are terrible. It's easier to just buy ps4 for ps4 games then to use psnow

  • 0
LittleCloud dane007 (on 14 August 2021)

That's not really an argument regarding the openess of platforms. Phil Spencer seems to claim that the availability of GamePass defines whether a platform is open or not, yet they don't allow competing ways to acquire games on Xbox either. Nobody's stopping him to put Chrome on Xbox and have Stadia work with it either, regardless of the service's quality.

  • +4
dane007 LittleCloud (on 14 August 2021)

I thought Phil was looking at doing a browser version for gamepass?

  • 0
LittleCloud dane007 (on 17 August 2021)

Yes, xCloud. But I cannot use Stadia on Xbox despite Stadia being browser-based as well. Spencer claims that Xbox is an open platform because of GamePass and every other platform without GamePass isn't open. No, PlayStation and Switch aren't open platforms but neither is Xbox.

  • 0
dane007 LittleCloud (on 18 August 2021)

How do u know that stadia is open to the console companies? They might not allow it as well . Guess he's saying that xbox is more open than playstation and Nintendo. Which in this case is true

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed xl-klaudkil (on 14 August 2021)

Of course Xbox is a closed platform, he never says or suggests it isn’t. Also, how do you know they don’t want PS Now on Xbox? What would be the point though with GamePass already existing?

  • +2
Johnd (on 14 August 2021)

Why would Sony or Nintendo want to put a closed gaming system on their platform that undermines their systems Phil.

  • +11
Alby_da_Wolf (on 14 August 2021)

Is he really trying to pass Game Pass (sorry for the pun) off as an open platform?

  • +11
loy310 (on 14 August 2021)

This guy is the only head of a platform that speaks about “other platforms”.
Sony and Nintendo in very long time have not mentioned Xbox or each other. It’s as if Phil needs to shit on his competition to sell his overall loss leading product.

  • +10
DonFerrari loy310 (on 16 August 2021)

Well. Even when there is a news that is regarding exclusively about Sony or Ninty he sometimes fells the need to coment on it.
Like Sony put the time and money to have the UE5 reveal exclusively on PS5, MS go there and put news that it also works on Xbox and better on it plus they have studios developing on it. And here we have people applauding because they think it is important that MS educate the market.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed loy310 (on 16 August 2021)

Woah, an executive promoting his brand, what in the world

  • +3
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 16 August 2021)

An executive that doesn`t respect exclusive agreements even though doing those. Owww, I forgot he is pure love.

  • -1
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 16 August 2021)

You’re honestly bothered that Sony had an exclusive UE5 tech demo and MS made an Xbox comment about it. Why? It’s so bizarre.

  • +2
VAMatt loy310 (on 16 August 2021)

I don't see him doing much shit talking of other platforms. He certainly promotes XB, but generally not by putting down the others. In fact, he often praises them.

  • +2
JuliusHackebeil (on 14 August 2021)

Said it as if he would be open to have PSNow on XBox. But I highly doubt that this is the case. XBox seems just as closed in this regard.

  • +10
Dulfite (on 14 August 2021)

I think MS's best bet is to circumvent Sony and Nintendo entirely (I say this as a Nintendo fan-man), and go about the cloud app/plug in streamer option for televisions. Honestly, one day, TV's could have such good hardware in them that they could play video games natively, and on that day every Sony/Nintendo gamer will also have access to Xbox games via their television. This is the future I suspect MS is planning.

  • +8
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 16 August 2021)

They are already working for XCloud to work on TV (they decided for phones first).

  • 0
Dulfite DonFerrari (on 16 August 2021)

I said native. Xcloud is current, but most people don't have the internet speeds for that sort of thing (nor do I suspect will they, as games become more advanced internet will get more sucked up even as internet speed improves). I think the future is in downloading/playing games directly on your TV. They could ship TV's with built in RTX's one day, for example.

  • 0
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 17 August 2021)

They could, but likely won't, you don't upgrade your TV every 2 years or even 5 years, plus a good RT would double the price of the TV and people already complain of usefulness of several stuff on the TVs. But who knows, there may be a niche market, I doubt that would surpass the XCloud market. And well MS isn't a TV manufacturer.

  • 0
Dulfite DonFerrari (on 17 August 2021)

MS hasn't been a lot of things until they suddenly were and spend big money on said market. And most gamers don't upgrade their consoles every 2 years. Most wait until probably a full life cycle has passed or more to upgrade. Sales for consoles don't usually go crazy until the 3rd year they are on the market, which would be 8-9 years after the previous device came out.

Also, TV's wouldn't necessarily skyrocket in price as those manufacturers could get deals on the cards like console makers do permitting they make enough. Regardless, if I could spent $500 more on a T.V. that has native gaming capabilities that I would have otherwise spent on a console to put next to the T.V. I would absolutely do that.

  • 0
EricHiggin (on 14 August 2021)

It wasn't all that long ago that XB, under Spencer, were hyping the possibilities of having GP on as many non MS systems as possible since they're so open now. Well if Nin and PS have closed ecosystems, then why would anyone assume they would allow GP on there in the first place? Why even mention them?

Being open to having the full XB experience available on another platform, heavily implies that their own XB consoles, even the most powerful, must add nothing to the experience, so why any hardware hype then?

PS also has Now which is a GP 'like' experience, though not exactly the same. It's almost more of a hybrid between GP and xCloud, and Now has been around for much longer.

It's not that Nin and PS don't want GP, it's that if GP is truly that disruptive, then PS and Nin will obviously do their own version of it, like what XB hasn't taken from PS Now... Nin is more questionable, especially with timeframe, but PS already has something there, it just operates differently at the moment and may need adjustments or upgrades if GP becomes an obviously stronger model.

This is entirely about Phil getting the message out about GP. Building that subscriber base asap is important to XB and GP succeeding along with building a lead before PS or Nin potentially starts competing more directly. Nothing wrong with promoting a product or service, but comparing it to competitors that you aren't competing with, like those who want nothing to do with GP, even though one of them clearly has to some degree well into the past, isn't exactly the most honest way of doing so. It is transparent though, to some.

  • +8
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EricHiggin Pemalite (on 15 August 2021)

Like PS5 and Switch? It's almost as if Phil don't even know they exist!..

XBSX is so powerful that it can make your Android phone 12TF?.. It must help with the phones heat transfer as well right?..

  • +5
Conina (on 14 August 2021)

Ok Phil, then bring GamePass to SteamOS and Linux.

  • +7
Stellar_Fungk (on 14 August 2021)

Phil Spencer’s mom don’t want Gamepass.

  • +4
DonFerrari (on 13 August 2021)

When he says full xbox experience you can know what he is getting at... MS having the control of it and also putting their store and their subs on other platforms.
And about others not wanting something like GP... well Sony have PSNow that works both in open platforms and on their closed platforms... what Sony and Nintendo doesn't want is giving their portion of the pie to MS and control to them.

  • +4
KratosLives (on 14 August 2021)

Phil needs to stop pushing gamepass down everyones throat.

  • +3
smroadkill15 KratosLives (on 14 August 2021)

That's literally their job...

  • +5
SanAndreasX (on 13 August 2021)

Why does Microsoft feel they are entitled to have their fingers in everybody else's pie?

  • +3
DonFerrari SanAndreasX (on 13 August 2021)

Because "GP is the best deal in gaming"

  • +1
dane007 DonFerrari (on 13 August 2021)

Agree

  • +3
halil23 dane007 (on 15 August 2021)

Flew way over your head!! Not surprise though...

  • -1
zakr1995 SanAndreasX (on 13 August 2021)

they dont. you read the headline and not the actual quote.

The headline makes it sound like he is entitled, where as the quote is him saying that they arent bringing gamepass to closed platforms, because they are closed...

  • +3
Azzanation SanAndreasX (on 14 August 2021)

Because buisness = money

  • -2
Ashadelo SanAndreasX (on 14 August 2021)

Why does this sound so wrong

  • -2
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 13 August 2021)

Could gamepass work on the web browser for ps4 or switch if you go through cloud gaming?

  • +1
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ClassicGamingWizzz (on 15 August 2021)

Phill spencer always trying to make the others look bad, no on e fucking believes his shit anymore, always with sony in his mouth anf now nintendo. The other platform heads dont even talk about microsoft.

  • 0

Well we do have a Phill Spencer defense brigade in VGC. So yes some people not only believes but also worship him.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 16 August 2021)

Over dramatic, per usual

  • -1
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 16 August 2021)

Well you didn`t need to expose yourself, but thanks for doing anyway.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 16 August 2021)

You’re doing it again lol

  • +3
Soonerman (on 13 August 2021)

If GP was available in PS5 or Switch I would buy one of those consoles. I've always been interested in their exclusives plus a two console war would be super fun. Also, its not like their exclusives would stop selling. I think the opposite would take place. They would have even higher sales.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 15 August 2021)

hilarious spencer

  • -1
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VAMatt victor83fernandes (on 13 August 2021)

This is not consistent with what is actually happening, according to devs and pubs that have put games on Gamepass.

  • +7
smroadkill15 victor83fernandes (on 13 August 2021)

Right....which developers are getting less profit?

  • +11
Ashadelo victor83fernandes (on 14 August 2021)

You realize that the more hours a game gets played on gamepass the more money that developer makes, right?

  • +1