Xbox Series X is aiming for a holiday release, and a new console launch usually comes alongside shiny new exclusives that showcase its power. Microsoft has a different plan in mind this time, though, as head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty says its first-party games will be entirely cross-gen for the first year or 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,” Booty told MCV. “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.”
So rather than force an upcoming game to be exclusive to the Series X, Booty says Microsoft will keep releasing games for Xbox One and let the upgraded performance on the Series X speak for itself. That means making sure its flagship game, Halo Infinite, will be ready to showcase the new console at launch.
“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].”
It’s a model more akin to a phone upgrade. Games still release across devices, but you’ll get a better performance with the newer hardware. Microsoft has signaled this direction for the next generation before, especially with its announcement that “Series X” is just one of potentially several models we’ll see in the coming years. The line of products itself, the company has stated, is now just “Xbox.”
This may be a gamble, however, as players who are still able to enjoy games like Halo Infinite on their current hardware may not feel as compelled to upgrade. That could impact hardware adoption rates, when we know Sony is looking to shift its player-base to PS5 more rapidly.
For more on the Xbox Series X, check out everything we know.