Major Xbox console exclusives such as Bethesda's Starfield and the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle are being considered for launch on Sony's PlayStation 5, as part of a huge shift in strategy by Microsoft.
Previous reports suggested Xbox would bring a handful of smaller titles to PlayStation beginning this year, including Hi-Fi Rush - something Eurogamer understood to be true and also which has now seemingly been confirmed by its in-game files. But the idea that Microsoft will also - at some point - drop exclusivity for some of its biggest games marks a policy change far bigger than previously expected.
A swathe of reports emerged last night suggesting Microsoft's PlayStation plans now included Starfield - Xbox's tentpole release for 2023, albeit one which received a somewhat mixed reception - and potentially also Indiana Jones - the company's biggest release currently on the calendar for 2024.
XboxEra was first to report that Starfield will launch on PS5 this year after the game receives its previously-announced Shattered Space expansion. Reliable insiders NateTheHate and Randalthor19 corroborated the report. Eurogamer has contacted Microsoft for comment.
The Verge separately reported that a PS5 version of Indiana Jones was also being considered, with a short exclusivity of only a few months for Xbox and PC.
The potential of such a huge change by Microsoft in how it treats Xbox console exclusives has inevitably thrown up questions over how the company sees its place in the industry going forward - as a platform holder with a subscription service, a first-party, or a third-party games maker.
The reported change follows Microsoft's decision last month to lay off 1900 people across Xbox and Activision Blizzard following its expensive $68.7bn acquisition of the latter, in a bid to align "on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure".
Could a more sustainable cost structure for Microsoft also refer to launching big budget Xbox exclusives on PlayStation to recoup more money from sales there?
XboxEra's report claims that "Microsoft senior leadership have reportedly debated the various pros and cons of releasing more of their exclusive software elsewhere, and internally, not everyone is necessarily happy with the decision, but recouping the potential money 'left on the table' by not releasing elsewhere has arguably won out."
The various reports suggest Microsoft is set to publicly announce its strategy to launch more games on PlayStation later this month.