Microsoft is about to launch the Xbox One X worldwide, the company's latest play in what has become an increasingly competitive hardware arena.
The Xbox One has lost out to the PlayStation 4 in terms of global share, while Nintendo's Switch has seemingly carved out a whole new sector of the market thanks to its hybrid nature. Microsoft is playing catch-up to a certain degree, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that the firm's aim is to reach as many gamers as possible regardless of the platform they choose - and that could mean key Xbox exclusives being available on other consoles.
This is already happening with Minecraft, a Microsoft-owned property which is available on PlayStation 4, Wii U, New 3DS and Switch. However, Minecraft is subtly different because it was a brand with global appeal before Microsoft purchased it; what we could potentially see moving forward is AAA Xbox exclusives heading elsewhere.
Spencer was promoted in September to the role of executive vice president, which means he now reports directly to Chief Executive Satya Nadella rather than Windows boss Terry Myerson. Spencer revealed that his new role gives him more "latitude" to reach gamers on any device, rather than using “gaming to make Windows more successful.”
Spencer has acknowledged that console sales continue to be of the utmost importance, but said that Microsoft is now more focused on "growing game software and services", stating that success is measured by the number of people who use its Xbox Live service.
In its fiscal first quarter ended September 30th, Xbox Live clocked up 53 million monthly active users, which is a rise of 13 percent from a year earlier. However, overall gaming revenue rose just a single percent to $1.9 billion as a 48 percent fall in hardware sales was balanced out by a 21 percent rise in software and services.
Microsoft's platform agnostic approach may be some way off, but the company has proven itself to be the most open when it comes to exploring the possibilities of working with its hardware rivals. The company has employed cross-platform play in Minecraft, whereas Sony has blocked a similar move.
Do you think we'll ever see a day when Halo, Forza and other big Microsoft exclusives appear on Switch, or future Nintendo hardware? Would you want to see that day, personally? Let us know with a comment.