Xbox gamers can now access PC games directly on their consoles through streaming service GeForce NOW – but Death Stranding, which is a PlayStation exclusive on console, is blocked from running on Microsoft’s devices.
The GeForce NOW service provides cloud gaming on “nearly any” device, from laptop to smartphone. While an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S isn’t specifically catered for, GeForce does offer browser-based streaming through Microsoft’s Edge web browser. As Edge is available on Xbox consoles, players have a viable workaround to access the platform on their consoles.
However, even using this method still has limits, with the PC version of Kojima Production’s Death Stranding blocked from running on an Xbox, even through the Edge browser (as spotted by VGC). Curiously, the PC version of the game is published by 505 Games rather than Sony, but it seems the console exclusivity remains part of the agreement.
The restriction appears to have first been noticed by The Verge’s senior editor Tom Warren, who shared footage of searching for Death Stranding through the browser on Xbox, where the game fails to even show up in search results. However, switching to the same GeForce NOW account on a PC browser, the game appears immediately.
were you looking forward to playing Sony PC games on Xbox through Nvidia GeForce Now? I noticed something strange. You can't play Death Stranding, a Sony published game, on Xbox through GeForce Now. It's blocked from showing up in search results 🤔 pic.twitter.com/G5qkFOPIwH
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) October 25, 2021
Even more strangely though, the restriction may be limited to certain countries. A reply to Warren’s thread appeared to show Death Stranding running through an Xbox browser in Russia. Whether this is an oversight, an error, or a difference in regional rules is not currently known.
While this mystery is ongoing, it’s also worth considering the role cloud gaming may play in Kojima Productions’ future titles. In September, Hideo Kojima said he wants to work on games that change in real time, which a live service unrestricted by console or PC hardware could facilitate. However, in August, he also said he feared a future without physical media, which might point to suspicion over fully embracing the cloud.
Over on PS5 itself, sci-fi roguelike Returnal has finally added a save function, six months after release. It comes as part of the game’s 2.0 update, which will also introduce a photo mode to the darkly beautiful game.