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Could Forza Horizon be Heading to PlayStation?


Could Forza Horizon be Heading to PlayStation?

Rumours are swirling that some of Microsoft’s biggest first-party Xbox exclusives are heading to PlayStation 5. XboxEra reports that Starfield will launch on PS5 after the Shattered Space expansion arrives on Xbox and PC later this year. It’s a bombshell for anyone who bought an Xbox Series X specifically to play Bethesda’s space adventure game.

Starfield isn’t the only Xbox exclusive rumoured to be making the jump to Sony’s rival platform. According to The Verge, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is set to be a timed exclusive, arriving on PS5 a few months after Xbox.

This follows rumours that Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves are hitting other platforms. Even more unreported Xbox exclusives are apparently moving to other platforms according to VGC’s Andy Robertson.

While nothing is official yet, Xbox potentially going multi-platform is making racing fans wonder if Forza will change lanes and come to PlayStation.

Shifting gears

Update: Since this article was published, Microsoft has clarified that four Xbox games are going multiplatform: Pentiment, Hi-Fi Rush, Grounded, and Sea of Thieves. There are no plans to release first-party titles like Forza on other platforms for now.

These reports indicate a significant strategy change for Xbox. It’s no secret that Xbox hardware sales consistently fall behind PlayStation. Last year, the PS5 outsold the Xbox Series X and Series S almost three to one. From a business perspective, Microsoft bringing more first-party games to other platforms and focusing on Game Pass makes sense.

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Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t gone down well with loyal Xbox fans who were promised more first-party exclusives following Microsoft’s industry-shaking acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision.

Sega was once in a similar situation. After the Dreamcast flopped, the company exited the console market and has never looked back. Before then, nobody could imagine playing Sonic the Hedgehog on a Nintendo console. After all, Sega and Nintendo were arch-rivals in the 16-bit era. Times have changed, however, with Sonic now a multiplatform franchise with titles on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms.

If the reports are true, it sounds like Microsoft wants to follow Sega’s footsteps and become a multiplatform publisher. Leaked FTC documents seemingly support this, suggesting that Microsoft will leave the console market behind if hardware and Game Pass sales don’t pick up by 2027.

Is Forza on PlayStation now a possibility?

The idea of Forza being ported to PlayStation seems unthinkable. Since its inception in 2005, the franchise has been synonymous with Xbox and Microsoft. But Microsoft’s apparent multiplatform shift means Forza coming to PlayStation is now a real possibility.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft keeps its tentpole franchises like Forza and Halo exclusive to Xbox and PC. But nothing can be ruled out until we get official word on Microsoft's plans.

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On PlayStation, Forza Motorsport’s most obvious competitor is, of course. Gran Turismo. With Microsoft considering going multi-platform, we may see Forza Motorsport go head-to-head with Gran Turismo 7 on the same console. This seems unlikely, though.

From the outset, Forza Motorsport was created as Microsoft’s answer to Gran Turismo on Xbox. With Gran Turismo 7 leading the simcade race, Forza Motorsport would struggle to stand out on PS5 and Sony won’t want to drive sales away from GT7. It’s a different story for Forza Horizon, however.

Originally a spin-off title, Forza Horizon has overtaken Forza Motorsport to become the franchise’s lead game. Its fun festival vibe, more accessible car handling, and open-world racing appeal to a broader audience than Forza Motorsport’s realistic circuit racing.

This has made Forza Horizon one of the most popular racing franchises on any platform and PlayStation players are desperate to join the party. If there's one racing franchise that has the power to make PlayStation players put an Xbox under the TV alongside their PS5, it's Forza Horizon.

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Despite its monumental success on Xbox, Sony doesn't have a first-party open-world racer to rival Forza Horizon on PlayStation. As for third-party games, Ubisoft’s The Crew Motorfest is the closest to Forza Horizon on PlayStation and a fun alternative, but it doesn’t have Forza’s brand recognition.

With little competition and a strong appetite for open-world arcade racers on the platform, Forza Horizon would be a surefire hit on PS5, letting more players enjoy the games while also providing a new revenue avenue for Microsoft. 

If Xbox is going multi-platform as the rumours suggest, we might see PlayStation on the platforms list when Forza Horizon 6 is eventually announced. Such a move would be as seismic as Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes for Ferrari.

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