There’s a possibility Hi-Fi Rush, Tango Gameworks’ rhythm action game that shadow-dropped on Xbox Game Pass last year, is coming to Switch at some point in 2024—if one industry insider is to be believed. If the rumors are true, more people could finally get a chance to play one of the biggest sleeper hits of last year, which surprise-dropped during last January’s Xbox Direct and immediately captured hearts with its infectious blend of action and rhythm, bopping soundtrack, and lovable doofus of a protagonist Chai.
The “Hi-Fi Rush on other platforms” rumor mill started spinning when podcaster and insider Nate the Hate claimed in a 2024 predictions video (thanks, Eurogamer) that Microsoft would be bringing “one of their more acclaimed first-party releases to a competitor system.” Hi-Fi Rush is currently only available on PC and Xbox, as Tango Gameworks is a first-party studio that joined Microsoft as part of its acquisition of Bethesda and all its studios.
But why are folks assuming this mystery game will be Chai’s musical moshpit simulator? On a ResetEra thread discussing the Nate the Hate video, user lolilolailo, another insider who has previously corroborated information about Xbox and Persona 3 Reload, responded to a user predicting Hi-Fi Rush might be the Xbox game coming to a rival platform saying they’d “win” that bet.
Nate the Hate says the mystery game was met with some acclaim and was part of Game of the Year discussions the year it launched. Hi-Fi Rush might not have topped many lists in a year with games like Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Alan Wake II, but it was certainly in talks all around the industry. It even scored nominations at The Game Awards for music, best action game, accessibility, and art direction, and took home the award for Best Audio Design.
Nate the Hate’s track record has been on the money in some instances, such as predicting Persona 4 Golden would come to new platforms, though there’s an argument to be made some of his correct predictions could just be educated guesses and speculation. Though lolilolailo’s corroboration is pretty compelling support, given their past accuracy on subjects like Persona 3 Reload.
The wrinkle in this logic is that Xbox has spent billions of dollars in studio acquisitions in an effort to build an exclusive line-up to rival Nintendo and Sony. If the company is about to offload one of its most beloved games of the past few years onto a rival platform, it does raise questions about Microsoft’s exclusivity strategy moving forward. In some cases, such as the Activision acquisition, Microsoft entered a deal to ensure Call of Duty would remain on rival platforms, but for most other first-party titles, Xbox and Windows exclusivity is the norm.
If Hi-Fi Rush does well on Switch (which it probably will, thanks to all the aforementioned buzz and love) is there a chance more Xbox Studios games will launch on other platforms? This isn’t the first example of an Xbox-published game coming to rival platforms, as the adventure game As Dusk Falls is coming to PlayStation 4 and 5 in March (and could very well be the rumored Switch game). It feels like the company is testing the waters with its smaller projects instead of putting something huge like Halo on PlayStation.
The news that a great Xbox exclusive could come to Switch is great for pretty much everyone who likes games (except maybe gamers who only own Sony products), but the people who treat the video game industry like a team sport will inevitably twist this into some kind of betrayal on Microsoft’s part.