One year ago this month, the video game Hi-Fi Rush was published exclusively on the XBox series of consoles. It was also made available on the PC, so non-owners weren’t totally out of luck, but traditionally, first-party games tend to remain on the console they were built for. Traditions, however, tend to be broken.
There are rumblings that Microsoft is preparing to offer first-party titles from their current catalog on other consoles, fueled by a quote from Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart last November. “Not announcing anything broadly here, but our mission is to bring our first-party experiences [and] our subscription services to every screen that can play games. That means smart TVs, that means mobile devices, that means what we would have thought of as competitors in the past like PlayStation and Nintendo.”
The lead rumor is that Hi-Fi Rush will be the first of these to make the leap, and that it will leap to Nintendo Switch, where its colorful, jumpy aesthetic would feel the most at home.
It’s not really the first time Microsoft has made this move; Cuphead was originally an XBox exclusive, but can now be purchased on every modern system. In addition Sony has also started to cool on the whole “hoarding games” thing, and has published first-party titles like Marvel Spider-Man on Steam. (As for the remaining player, Nintendo will never ever ever let their games appear outside of their own machines. Ever.)
Hi-Fi Rush takes place in a futuristic city swarming with robots and high technology, but suffering under the boot of the all-consuming Vandelay Industries. The game’s protagonist, the too-cocky-for-his-own-good Chai, had an accident at the implant factory and can now see the rhythm of the entire city’s electrical pulses, which gives him the power to fight back. He joins a group of rebels and they take down Vandelay one massive boss at a time.
We hope the rumor is true, as Hi-Fi Rush was one of the best games of 2023 (it’s been nominated for many “game of 2023” awards lists, though it has yet to win), and more people should get the chance to play it. We also hope the Switch version, should it exist, won’t be a terrible port.