Ever since Microsoft finalized the acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October for $69 billion, we’ve all been waiting for Phil Spencer to climb down from his ivory tower and declare to us what the future of Xbox would look like. Now, we finally know when that’s happening, and it’s this week.
In a post on X, the company announced that, rather than a live or recorded event, it will be hosting a special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast. It revealed that this particular episode will feature “updates on the Xbox business” from three pivotal players:
- Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming
- Sarah Bond, President of Xbox
- Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios
The episode will kick off on Thursday, February 15th at 12:00 PM Pacific Time:
How to watch or listen to the Official Xbox Podcast
There are a number of ways that you can tune in to Thursday’s special episode of the Official Xbox Podcast, and the first one is probably the best: YouTube. While the podcast is available on pretty much every podcast platform you can think of, those options are audio only.
Thankfully for all of us, the version of the podcast that pops up on YouTube is usually a video, so we’ll hopefully be treated to an on-camera Spencer, Bond, and Booty on Thursday. While there isn’t a placeholder video to get notifications for once the podcast goes live (we’ll keep an eye to see if that changes), it will pop up on the company’s official Xbox channel, so feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss it in your feed.
If you want to get a sense of what the podcast is like, here’s the episode of Spencer talking about the Activision Blizzard acquisition shortly after it closed on October 13, 2023:
If you want to listen in to the episode in audio form — maybe sneaking it in at work — here are some other places you can tune in on Thursday:
What to expect from the special episode
While we still don’t know anything for sure — Xbox has been pretty good at staying tight-lipped about what they are going to announce on Thursday — the rumor mill has been swirling for weeks now about what the future of Xbox is going to look like post-acquisition.
First up are consoles. While there have been growing rumors that Xbox might get out of the console game altogether and go all-in on its cloud business, it appears those rumors are unfounded. While the company’s leaked materials show that the future of the console might ditch the physical disc, Spencer told employees just this week via IGN that the company has no plans to ditch the console altogether.
Next up are games. The future of Xbox games — and particularly game exclusivity — has been thrown into the rumor mill since the Activision Blizzard acquisition closed. While Microsoft has already promised to keep a number of big titles like Call of Duty cross-platform — and signed some deals with Sony and Nintendo to prove it — there’s a ton of speculation about Xbox taking some of its exclusives and also making them available on other platforms like the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.
Some of the titles coming to other platforms that have been thrown out there include Hi-Fi Rush, Sea of Thieves, Starfield, and the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. However, some of those predictions have since been rescinded by their sources.
In the end, no one except Spencer and his team knows what’s really going to happen. Thankfully, we’re all going to find out on Thursday!