When asked why someone prefers a certain console over the other, the reason is often exclusives, but Microsoft decided the Xbox Series X won’t have them for 2 years.
“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 said. “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.”
There’s a lot of possibilities as to why they decided to take this route, and even more ways it could go. One of the possible ideas behind it is price, Microsoft insists that the Series X will be the ‘most powerful’ system available to gamers, but that also sounds expensive. Learning from the past, a high price on launch can be quite an issue (ask Sony what happened to the PS3), so if they continue supporting the Xbox One another few years, people won’t feel pressured and they could wait for the price to go down a bit, and early adopters will get it either way.
Continuing the possibility that they simply don’t want to push consumers has a lot to do with the Game Pass. Microsoft just wants you to be there, if you subscribe to their services they’ll be happy no matter the system. With that in mind, when ever you decide to actually upgrade to the next gen, they are fine with it.
Obviously, there are a lot of problems with this tactic. The main one being, Xbox isn’t the only console on the market. Sony is launching the PS5 at the same time and there are rumors of Nintendo working on the Switch Pro. Besides the hardware, this console generation is ending on a high note for both Sony and Nintendo.
Sony has Final Fantasy VII: Remake and The Last of Us: Part II, and Nintendo has Animal Crossing: New Horizons and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. These games are going to bring a lot of attention to them and put the spotlight on what will come next.
Moving away from the possibility that the Series X will be overshadowed by the competition, there is the question of how exactly will the games run across all of the consoles? The games will have to run equally well on everything from the original Xbox One to the Series X, which isn’t a small feat.
When the current gen launched, Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of games were worked on separately, and the difference was more than obvious, they were practically different games. This time around, they want full compatibility, which means the same game will have to run on very different hardware that has very different capabilities, specifically talking about the leap in CPU power and the fact that it will be harder to take advantage of the move to SSDs if you still have to have HDDs in mind.
So, either those who don’t upgrade get a playable game, while early adopters get a game that doesn’t take full advantage of new and more powerful hardware, or games will be made with the Series X in mind, they look amazing, run well, have great new mechanics, but they might set an Xbox One on fire when it tries to run them.
It can make sense, but it can also be a horrible decision, maybe we just don’t have enough information to really understand it yet. Thankfully, Microsoft will be at E3 and hopefully at that point everything about their vision for the Series X will be explained.
On the topic of E3 2020, guess who isn’t coming this year.