Switch will be a big platform and when a few former Xbox exclusive or console exclusives will also be playable on Switch, there will be less incentive to buy the next MS console. What you say about XCloud is right but if anything that's more reason to not release games on other platforms. It diminishes the value of the Xbox library when you can already play the games without the need for an Xbox or XCloud.
To a certain extent, yeah, but these old smaller ports likely aren't hurting Xbox that much, the big AAA exclusives are the main pushers of consoles. I have a feeling Microsoft will try to get XCloud/Gamepass on Switch, release a few older exclusives then make their sequels exclusive to XCloud.
RIP Sunset Overdrive 2, well at least on Xbox.
MS needs to focus on getting AAA studios, I fear that Sony will also look to get more since they are in a great position to purchase more studios.
I can see Sony getting Bluepoint and possibly even strike a deal to get FromSoft from their parent company or even some independent JP studios that MS might have interest in.
According to Matt on Era, Microsoft has first rights of refusal to any sequel, either way Sunset Overdrive is dead anyway, Insomniac are going to be doing Spider-man.
Sony is definitely going to purchase more studios, there's going to be a lot of acquisitions in the future from multiple publishers (Sony, Microsoft, Epic, THQ, etc), we're going into an acquisition war.
Bluepoint, Remedy and Kojima Productions I think are the most likely candidates for Sony, I seriously doubt anyone gets FromSoftware, their parent company are big and don't need to sell them.
Idk if Microsoft needs to focus on AAA studios exactly, I mean one or two more wouldn't hurt as long as they aren't that costly and fill gaps, I like Microsoft's acquisition tactic of purchasing studios to fill gaps they have in their genres regardless of if they're AA or AAA, but also we have to look at Microsoft's expansion of these studios, yeah, some are AA but they've had rapid expansion under Microsoft and are heading towards AAA.
Right now we have...
- 343 Industries.
- The Coalition.
- The Initiative.
- Turn 10.
- Playground Games Forza Team.
- Playground Games Fable Team.
- Ninja Theory.
- Undead Labs*
- Double Fine.
*Rare - Reaching 300 employees, definitely an AAA studio now but not exactly certain to make AAA titles, Sea of Thieves is AAA but we don't know if their next game will be, even more-so considering how much of the studio is supporting Sea of Thieves still.
*Obsidian - AA studio for now but I'd bet on them becoming AAA for next gen, they were already near 200 employees before purchase but their games were definitely not AAA due to them being split into so many teams, The Outer Worlds would have probably been AAA if it was funded by Microsoft from the start, I've always seen Obsidian as a studio that wants to go bigger but just doesn't have the funding, then of course we have the rumour from their ex lead writer that they're working on a game which is like Pillars of Eternity x Skyrim.
*Undead Labs - Matt Booty recently spoke about making State of Decay into a bigger franchise to sit alongside Halo, Gears, etc. I'm confident that State of Decay 3 will be AAA.
Age of Empires Studio - Not sure if AoE4 would classify as AAA.
XGSP - We'll also get AAA titles from these guys.
What AAA independent studios do we have left anyway? Remedy, Platinum, Bungie, IO Interactive? I wouldn't mind IO Interactive and Platinum, 50/50 on Remedy due to their recent output, and no matter what I'd say hell no to Bungie, sure they'd be 'huge' get in terms of publicity but they would cost a fucking ton, I'd take multiple great AA-AAA studios over 1 'good' AAA studio, they have 800+ staff and can barely manage to release a game with adequate content. I'd take Obsidian, InXile, Ninja Theory, Double Fine, Playground Games over 1 studio that costs as much as all of them combined any day.