Microsoft have just revealed a game changing detail for launch of Xbox Series X: It’s not going to have any exclusive games from Microsoft, and won’t do for at least a year, possible two.
“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,” explained Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studio. “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.”
In other words, every game Microsoft release themselves from now until at least the end of 2021 will play on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and xCloud.
“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,” adds Matt.
While that is good news for current Xbox One owners the lack of exclusives could make the Series X less attractive, why buy brand new console to play the new Halo when you can play it on the one you already have?
“That means it’s also unlikely that there will be much pressure, from Microsoft at least, on third-party publishers to turn out hardware-exclusive titles for the relatively small day-one audience of Xbox Series X owners,” notes trade publication MCV. Sony have already announced their first PS5 console exclusive, Godfall, and rumours suggest there are plenty more on the way.
Microsoft have spent millions buying up studios include Hellblade developers Ninja Theory, but it seems the cheque book has been shut for the moment. “I think that we hit a point where we had gone through a phase of adding new studios,” said Matt, “And that’s a lot of work to make sure that we get the studios onboarded correctly, that we make sure that everyone feels secure.”
Microsoft’s very patchy record for releasing exclusive games should be a thing of the past now they have fifteen studios, when asked if Microsoft studios would be releasing a steady stream of games Matt replied “The capacity to deliver, say, a game every three or four months, which is our goal.”