Bits & bytes for February 9th 2024

As someone who's never truly been an Xbox player, the last few years of watching Microsoft acquire it's way through the business has been interesting. Xbox alone surely doesn't justify that kind of spending spree, otherwise Sony would have already done it. And alas, it seems Phil Spencer and co. are going to come out and come clean next week in a presso aimed at cooling the prevailing winds.

My guess is Microsoft wants to all but abandon the Xbox hardware project and turn the entire brand into GamePass. Go forth and dominate the streaming future a-la Netflix. And bring that to PS5, Switch and any other platform that'll take money and plonk it into Microsoft's back pocket. Sure, Xbox hardware might exist, but it'll be a throw-away product to promote the real brand, GamePass. Even a leaked screenshot suggests a name change for PS5, "Microsoft Game Pass." Which is fairly astounding.

What Microsoft always misses with these platform plays is the basics that someone will trust and buy into a startup much quicker. Netflix one because of Blockbuster, not despite it. And someone else will likely disrupt Microsoft in the exact same space. Sure, they won't have COD, but I don't think that matters as much as they think it does.


What I'm playing this week:

  • The Invincible -- almost finished!
  • Redout2