This is very interesting, albeit a bit concerning. Microsoft has confirmed that their upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, won’t be launching with exclusive games only playable on the new hardware. If I’m understanding this correctly, then what is the actual point of buying this new console.
Microsoft has a plan, and the more I look into it, the more I think I’m starting to understand their end goal, but it those raise some questions that can’t be ignored as I talked about in Can The Xbox Series X Make A Comeback In 2020 & Win The Console Wars?
As someone who does not own an Xbox but has a PC, there’s literally no incentive for me to pick up this next-generation line of Xbox. Heck, it even affects those who already have an Xbox One X. Yeah, there’s a jump in power, but just how much power will these NEW consoles have to justify paying for a brand new console? Not to mention that now, it seems that all the games will be scaled in such a way so that all platforms (Xbox family & PC) can play the same games under the same conditions and specs. Meaning, pushing the potential of a game becomes limited to ensure the other models can keep up.
According to Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty in an interview with MCV, this is what Microsoft has planned for the future of their consoles:
“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” Booty explains. “We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.”
“Our approach is to pick one or two IP that we’re going to focus on and make sure that they’re there at the launch of the console, taking advantage of all the features. And for us that’s going to be Halo Infinite, which is a big opportunity.
“It’s the first time in over 15 years that we’ll have a Halo title launching in sync with a new console. And that team is definitely going to be doing things to take advantage of [Series X].”
So, they will have one or two games that will showcase the power of the new Xbox Series X consoles but the main point of their strategy is to create a sort of Xbox family ecosystem. If I didn’t know any better, it would seem that Microsoft is no longer competing with Sony’s console on a head to head basis anymore, but rather, they’re looking to establish dominance across Xbox and PC, slowly bowing and exiting the console wars like SEGA while maintaining relevance in some way. Truth be told, they’ve been working on this strategy for quite some time now with the Xbox Game Pass so I shouldn’t be that surprised.
In any case, whether this will work out for them, in the long run, remains to be seen, Microsoft seems to believe in their ways so we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, that’s great for me, as that’s one less console to worry about buying.