Multiple sources suggest that Starfield and other Xbox exclusives are going multiformat, as rumours of Xbox turning third party continue.
The impossible now seems increasingly likely, as new rumours emerge that not only is Hi-Fi Rush coming to other console formats but so too is Starfield, Indiana Jones And The Great Circle, and other much more prominent Xbox exclusives.
Microsoft has still not commented on the original rumours, which suggested that Hi-Fi Rush and Sea Of Thieves are coming to PlayStation 5 and/or Nintendo Switch sometime this year.
Rumours on Sunday night stated that Starfield would also appear on other formats, despite being advertised as an Xbox exclusive, which led to other sources suggesting that it may be only the tip of the iceberg.
The rumours follow months of conflicted messaging from Xbox, with one exec talking of a ‘change of strategy’ and stating that Sony and Nintendo are no longer competitors.
Immediately after this, though, Xbox boss Phil Spencer insisted that Game Pass will not be coming to other formats, although he said nothing about individual games like Hi-Fi Rush or Starfield.
The talk of Starfield began at website XboxEra, which claims that certain Xbox executives are unhappy about the change in direction, but that the multiformat argument has now been won by those in favour of it.
The idea of more multiformat releases also emerged via a series of Discord messages before the Developer_Direct last month, which claimed that not only is Starfield going multiformat but so too are other Bethesda games and Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Not only that but Microsoft will supposedly begin to allow other hardware manufacturers to make Xbox consoles, perhaps as a prelude to Microsoft stopping making their own.
That idea has not been repeated anywhere else yet, but the same Discord server did accurately predict both Indiana Jones And The Great Circle and Hideo Kojima’s involvement in making a movie.
These rumours are much too big to be taken at face value and yet just hours later The Verge suggested that Indiana Jones will also be multiformat, despite the game having been unveiled last month as an Xbox exclusive.
‘A new multi-platform approach for certain Xbox games is emerging inside Microsoft, we’re told, with the company weighing up which titles will remain exclusive and others that will appear on Switch or PS5 in the future,’ says The Verge.
The time frame for an official announcement is still unclear but The Verge claims that Hi-Fi Rush will be confirmed ‘in the coming weeks’, while XboxEra suggests that the PlayStation 5 version of Starfield will coincide with the Shattered Space DLC.
A separate rumour, from leaker Idle Sloth, said that new Xbox president Sarah Bond will make an announcement in spring, but the tweet making the claim was deleted within just a few hours.
However, Windows Central’s Jez Corden appeared to confirm that the suggestion was accurate, although any such announcement could easily be delayed depending on how the internal arguments at Microsoft go.
It does, indeed, all seem impossible, and yet what’s been unusual about the rumours, beyond just what they’re about, is that so many unconnected sources have put forth the same or similar information.
At the very least, it seems certain that Xbox has been considering a move towards releasing more multiformat games and that in time that may mean most or all of their exclusive titles.
It’s unlikely to be as simple as Xbox ‘going third party’ but the disappointing console sales over Christmas will certainly have caused great concern at Microsoft over the last few weeks, and this could well be their answer to the problem.
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