The next generation of Xbox, the Xbox Series X is going to deviate from the typical strategy of having titles exclusive to the system.
Microsoft intends to fully commit to its previously announced Play Anywhere model that was announced during their press conference at E3 2019. Backwards compatibility will be further supported when Xbox Series X launches.
In an extensive interview with MCV, Microsoft Studios chief Matt Booty explained that future Xbox Series X first-party titles will be playable on the Xbox One 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 added. “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.”Microsoft Studios Chief Matt Booty
At some point though these Xbox Series X titles will not be playable on the Xbox One, but that will be well after it launches this year.
A Hint For The Future.
The decision to allow Series X exclusives to be available on the Xbox One isn’t a far cry from what Xbox chief Phil Spencer has been hinting at it the past few months.
The company has previously announced that they intend to make all of its first-party Xbox games playable on Windows 10 as part of their Play Anywhere strategy. During their E3 2019 presser, when the Series X was still referred to as Project Scarlett, they had previously stated Xbox Series X titles would work on the Xbox One.
On another front, Microsoft’s competitor Sony did confirm earlier this year that Playstation 4 games would be backwards compatible on the Playstation 5.
Generally speaking, first-party exclusives at launch have been a staple for every generation of console up to this decades so Microsoft breaking away from that tradition is a big step.
Halo Infinite, which is one of the highest profile launches for the Series X has already been confirmed to be playable on the Xbox One, Series X, and Windows 10, which again does not make this move all that surprising. At best, Booty just confirmed that Halo Infinite is representative of Microsoft’s entire business model will be for the next generation of consoles.
The downside of this strategy is that it doesn’t provide a strong argument for why consumers should transition over to the Series X if they can play Series X titles on the Xbox One.
Moreover, they’ve spent this most recent generation developing a comprehensive library of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles that are backwards compatible which would carry on over to the Series X.
The War Of Consoles.
That’s great for consumers who worry about not being able to experience past games, but bad for a company looking to turn record-breaking profits. Especially when the Xbox One failed to sell out during its launch period compared to the Playstation 4, which sold out in the first week.
Microsoft’s answer to this question is that the Series X’s specs, which were shown at E3 2019 and its accessibility compared to a Windows PC will be bigger selling points than the games you can play on it. Particularly for those who purchased the Xbox One in 2013, but didn’t go for the Xbox One S or Xbox One X.
We are sure to hear more about the Series X during Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2020, which will see it go head-to-head with Sony’s Playstation 5. The Sony Playstation 5 is rumored to be revealed during a special reveal event in February.
The Xbox Series X is scheduled to launch during the Holiday 2020 season.