After recent rumours that Microsoft could be bringing across multiple titles to both Sony’s PlayStation 5 and the Nintendo Switch and perhaps the successor system, naturally the question has come up as to whether Microsoft could be looking at perhaps going third party as opposed to staying within the console space.
Well, let me answer that question with a short and long answer. The short answer is hahahahahahahahahahaha. The long answer is that times a hundred.
I guess if you look at Sega and Microsoft there are similarities. Both had four consoles (excluding the SG-1000 Mark I and Mark II), and it was the fourth console at which point the whole argument about going third party has really started to come up. Microsoft launched Xbox, the spiritual successor to the Dreamcast not too long after Sega exited the console space. Both struggled to gain a foothold in the console space with their first international console. Both launched the second console ahead of the competition and did incredibly well doing so. Both second consoles for Sega and Microsoft were their most successful. Sega and Microsoft royally screwed up with the third console and developers and publishers started to turn away from support for different reasons. And then they both lunged into their fourth console with hope of reversing the downward spiral.
So, now you see the pattern, let me just say hahahahahahahahahahaha. Microsoft are definitely looking at how to expand their ecosystem. This isn’t the 90s or 2000s and even though I prefer the idea of generational consoles that relied on first party exclusives more than gobbling up third party publishers and to a lesser extent independent developers, times have significantly changed. Sony offers their first party games on PC a year or two after release. Microsoft already did say one on PC and console. Nintendo rely on Nintendo to sell hardware so they’re staying where they are. But business is business and money is money. If releasing games elsewhere makes you more money than trying to shift expensive consoles when the two competing platforms are doing better, than you may well be inclined to look at doing it too.