Xbox Chief Spencer Talks Exclusives Headed To PS5, Apple Fees And More

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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer got to talk about the future of Xbox in a wide-ranging interview with The Verge. The discussion included Xbox titles making their way to Sony’s PlayStation 5 console, the future of Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS, and the possibility of an Xbox handheld. The interview comes on the heels of a turbulent time for the Xbox brand after several rumors rocked the Xbox community.

One of the biggest rumors swirling regarded the state of exclusives on Xbox, with supposed “leaks” stating that tentpole titles such as Starfield and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle were going to make their way to PlayStation 5. Spencer made it clear that there are no plans for Xbox’s biggest titles to head to its biggest rival, even though four other unnamed titles are headed for other consoles. Xbox seems to be trying to thread the needle with the messaging on this front, but the decision to keep the four games going to other platforms a secret leaves room for speculation to persist.

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Spencer also got a chance to talk about Europe’s Digital Markets Act and how it changes what Xbox can accomplish with its cloud gaming service on Apple’s iOS. At the moment it seems as if it still isn’t enough, with Spencer saying that the company is not able to “monetize Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS.” Spencer elaborated by saying Apple “definitely [didn't] go far enough to open up competition on the world’s largest gaming platform.” It’s a blow for users who have both Xbox and iPhone that were hoping to finally get the most from both.

With gaming handhelds being all the rage, Spencer was asked about whether an Xbox handheld is in the cards. Spencer responded with, “I’m a big fan of handhelds. [Laughs] I’m a big fan, but nothing to announce.” More importantly, Spencer acknowledged the lack of a refined experience for Windows based gaming handhelds. He added that “our platform team is working with Windows to make sure that the experience is even better.” So, it seems like gaming on the go will get better on the Windows side of things.

It's an insightful interview with a lot of information, and more interesting than the podcast Xbox produced itself. It’s baffling why the Xbox team didn’t just stick to these types of interviews as a way to calm the situation with the rumors and leaks.