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Microsoft Confirms Game Pass Exclusivity To Xbox As Subscriptions Surge To 34 Million

Microsoft Confirms Game Pass Exclusivity To Xbox As Subscriptions Surge To 34 Million

Phil Spencer’s Ambition For Wider Platform Reach Remains Unfulfilled As Game Pass Stays Solely On Xbox

During Microsoft’s recent Xbox business update, the company revealed a significant milestone for Game Pass, with subscriptions soaring to 34 million members. Alongside this achievement, Microsoft clarified that Game Pass will remain exclusive to Xbox consoles, dispelling rumors of potential expansion to rival platforms such as PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

Matt Booty, an executive at Xbox, affirmed during the event that “Game Pass will only be available on Xbox,” reaffirming the platform’s commitment to maintaining exclusivity. While this stance may seem obvious, previous statements from Microsoft executives had sparked speculation about the possibility of Game Pass branching out to other gaming platforms.

In December, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart expressed Microsoft’s ambition to extend Game Pass to every compatible gaming device, including competitors’ consoles. However, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer later clarified that the company currently has “no plans” to pursue this strategy, signaling a firm commitment to Xbox exclusivity.

Tim Stuart

Spencer has long championed the idea of expanding Game Pass’s reach to a broader audience. As early as 2018, Spencer articulated Microsoft’s vision to make Game Pass available on “every device.” Despite this ambition, the reluctance of rival platform holders, such as Sony and Nintendo, to embrace Game Pass remains a barrier to its expansion beyond Xbox consoles.

Game Pass represents a significant shift in the gaming landscape, offering subscribers access to a vast library of games, including day-one releases of Microsoft’s first-party titles. The service also includes cloud streaming capabilities, enabling users to play games on various devices, even without a dedicated console

The recent surge in Game Pass subscriptions can be attributed in part to Microsoft’s decision to automatically convert all Xbox Live Gold members to Game Pass Core in September. This move likely contributed to the rapid growth of Game Pass’s user base.

Looking ahead, Diablo IV’s addition to the Game Pass catalog on March 28 marks a milestone as the first title from Activision Blizzard to join the service following Microsoft’s acquisition of the company. Additionally, Microsoft has announced plans for several first-party Xbox games to debut on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch platforms, signaling a broader strategy beyond Game Pass exclusivity.