Xbox chief Phil Spencer promises no Xbox Series X exclusives for a 'couple of years'

Polycount

Posts: 2,467   +549
Staff member
In context: Today, Xbox chief Phil Spencer published a lengthy blog post laying out his vision for the future of Xbox. Though the post contains a lot of marketing lingo and buzzwords, at its core, it describes a user-focused approach to hardware and software development, where consumer happiness and satisfaction are at the forefront of the gaming experience.

Spencer begins his post by discussing Xbox's desire to address harassment and hate throughout the community, noting that the Xbox platform has been designed for everyone's enjoyment: players from "all walks of life, everywhere in the world." He hopes that, through the hard work of Xbox's safety team, its nearly 300,000 diversity "Ambassadors," and the development of new technology designed to "reduce hate speech and toxicity," that goal can finally be realized.

Spencer also dedicated some time in his post to discussing the Xbox Series X, in particular. He covers a lot of information that we already know about, such as the console's built-in support for high framerates, backward compatibility, raytracing, and reduced or eliminated load times (courtesy of the Xbox Series X's "next-generation SSD"), but he did drop a few interesting pieces of information that haven't been discussed much previously.

For example, according to the Xbox boss, all first-party games released over the next "couple of years" will be playable on both current and next-gen consoles. The company is not interested in forcing players to switch to the Xbox Series X at launch just to play highly-anticipated titles like Halo Infinite.

Those games will certainly be better on the Series X, thanks to the features mentioned a moment ago, but the core experience will undoubtedly be largely the same across both generations. This is good news for any gamers that might prefer to wait a while before jumping on the next-gen bandwagon.

After all, it's difficult to tell how many of a console maker's promises will turn out to be true on day one -- it can take weeks, or even months, for some features to fully materialize. With this in mind, it's nice to know that Xbox won't be leaving patient gamers in the dust. Further, Spencer promises that all of your existing Xbox accessories (controllers in particular) will function just fine on the Series X; you won't need to buy new ones if you don't want to.

All in all, it's clear that Microsoft is adopting a much more consumer-friendly approach with the launch of the Xbox Series X. The company seems to be keen on putting players, and games, first this time around, which is refreshing given the rocky release of the original Xbox One.

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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,159   +1,920
Let's be straight here, Microsoft are aiming at games as a service. Initially they aren't concerned about how many Series X machines they sell. That's ok, for at least the first few years. However after that it does matter, it will matter, they will still say it won't.

So this strategy is a double edged sword. You can keep those already in the Xbox family, they can transition easily to newer hardware as they want. They happily keep their games collection. They will get upgrades like you would a PC. It does mean however there may be less incentive to do that while they can still play the exact same new releases on their older hardware.

The major issue here is that without games that push the boundaries of their latest machine, what draws in gamers who preferred the other side the past 7 years? You tie yourself down supporting weak hardware. You keep what you have but you have to drag people across to grow your user base and market share. Sometimes it is best to draw a line under a failure like X1X and go fresh from there.

The first few years it will go swimmingly if they pull old xbox users onto their new machine gradually. After that if sales slow and they do not have the exclusive software then the platform begins to deteriorate again, no new audience.

It seems like a smart move, it is pro consumer so no complaints here. However I'm not sure it is smart in the longer term. After two years they can shut down support of the old systems, it'll be met with outcry even if it makes sense. They will have had a reputation of just dishing out games with few unique next gen features if we just see the core experience is the same across generations.

I envisage a situation where Series X may not sell that well, Microsoft may feel forced to extend their cross gen support and thus get caught in a negative feedback loop from there. All the while the opposition power away focused on their new machine.
 

ZackL04

Posts: 654   +412
Works for me, I can wait. I just scored a new X this spring for cheap and really enjoy it and its graphic fidelity vs my old ps4 pro. Gamepass is also an awesome subscription.

I have a PC too but its fun to have both and most of my friends dont care for PC gaming anyway.

All these console and pc games are just patched versions of the same game with locked visual settings these days anyway.

Sony is trying real hard to get you to upgrade with their PS5 exclusive releases planned, while microsoft is attempting to play it cool. Sounds like the reverse of what happened years ago at the beginning of this current gen.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,018   +2,830
" and the development of new technology designed to "reduce hate speech and toxicity,"


What are they going to do? Dis-include microphones?

Frankly, I'd say the best feature they can have for reducing hate speech and toxicity are two features already featured in CS: GO...

#1 VOTE to KICK PLAYER and #2 The Mute Button


You can't monitor how millions of players interact in-game, but you can have them monitor each other and use the democratic method to immediately punish hate speech and toxicity if they so see fit.
 
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GamerNerves

Posts: 46   +21
All this sounds very good, I'm only concerned about platform exclusive titles. There is nothing desirable in exclusive titles, they only might make you buy the lesser machine. Like in last generation, the more powerful machine leads the way, so you will get lesser effects, resolution, framerate, etc; if you get the PS5. Price is of course the deciding factor, but I'm pretty sure you should buy the more powerful console to enjoy the majority of games at their best quality. This is just my two cents, because I would have been pissed if I bought Xbox One back in 2013, since many games run in rather low resolution or have nasty framedrops.

To note, Xbox One has the ESRAM thing which could have helped very much, but like in every generation tricks like that are not often utilized, so the simplistic way of just having much easily accessible power is the best one.
 

Lounds

Posts: 487   +367
I seriously don't see the point of cross gen first party games, as the experience will not be much different apart from maybe a resolution boost and maybe extra lighting and textures boost over the Xbox version. Sony's will get a clear advantage in their first party games.
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 914   +395
I seriously don't see the point of cross gen first party games, as the experience will not be much different apart from maybe a resolution boost and maybe extra lighting and textures boost over the Xbox version. Sony's will get a clear advantage in their first party games.
Some of Sonys first party titles are also coming to the PC this year and in the future. So Sony wont be having some clear advanatage, hell they dont even have a advantage now. All there is, is fanboys on both sides. BOTH systems will likely be very good. Neither will beat a PC and wont be beating a PC with the latest tech in it. Consoles are at where they should have been a decade ago and in reality will always be behind PC.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,172   +5,478
" and the development of new technology designed to "reduce hate speech and toxicity,"


What are they going to do? Dis-include microphones?

Frankly, I'd say the best feature they can have for reducing hate speech and toxicity are two features already featured in CS: GO...

#1 VOTE to KICK PLAYER and #2 The Mute Button


You can't monitor how millions of players interact in-game, but you can have them monitor each other and use the democratic method to immediately punish hate speech and toxicity if they so see fit.
The best solution is to service wide mute toxic people after a number for reports without alerting them that they are muted. Eventually they will think people are simply ignoring them for being jerks and either change their ways or stop talking altogether. In any case a win for the community.
 

Xclusiveitalian

Posts: 815   +204
No point in owning an Xbox then, can buy a Ps5 and play all the games and then in a few years when Xbox sales are down like they are now they will switch the exclusive button on and make some money
 
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Ben1978

Posts: 52   +51
No point in owning an Xbox then, can buy a Ps5 and play all the games and then in a few years when Xbox sales are down like they are now they will switch the exclusive button on and make some money
If you can afford it best way to go now is PC for Xbox games and multiplatforms and PS5 for exclusives. I'll wait a few years to get the PS5 though after the price comes down and the exclusives start appearing.
 

ET3D

Posts: 1,707   +352
the experience will not be much different apart from maybe a resolution boost and maybe extra lighting and textures boost over the Xbox version.
Yeah, apart from higher resolutions, better frame rate, ray tracing, more physics, higher res textures, fast loading, instant resume...

So basically it's about as pointless as upgrading a 7 year old mid-range PC. That doesn't mean that PS5 won't have a draw with some of its exclusives, but I'd still say that the experience on the old Xbox and new Xbox will be night and day, and the idea of buying an upgrade to get a better experience with your current library seems to work well on PC.
 
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dangh

Posts: 121   +155
Some of Sonys first party titles are also coming to the PC this year and in the future. So Sony wont be having some clear advanatage, hell they dont even have a advantage now. All there is, is fanboys on both sides. BOTH systems will likely be very good. Neither will beat a PC and wont be beating a PC with the latest tech in it. Consoles are at where they should have been a decade ago and in reality will always be behind PC.
Only one title, mostly because kojima paid for engine conversion. No other titles are planned. Sony have no interest to sell games on pc as this will reduce income from publishing 3rd party games.
 

Lounds

Posts: 487   +367
Some of Sonys first party titles are also coming to the PC this year and in the future. So Sony wont be having some clear advanatage, hell they dont even have a advantage now. All there is, is fanboys on both sides. BOTH systems will likely be very good. Neither will beat a PC and wont be beating a PC with the latest tech in it. Consoles are at where they should have been a decade ago and in reality will always be behind PC.
They're literally putting their games on PC for extra revenue, the actual games there's not a huge day and night difference between the PC and PS4 Pro versions, digital Foundry's tech video of death stranding basically showed that, overall it was more a slight boost to texture filtering and over all texture quality at further distances, oh and if you had a powerful enough card you could potentially run it in 4k. Sony just wants to boost their sales figures of the games they funded. We might not see PS5 games on PC for a few years due to the specific hardware advantages the PS5 has over PC currently regarding its IO and SSD, as most games will be built around this.
 

Lounds

Posts: 487   +367
Yeah, apart from higher resolutions, better frame rate, ray tracing, more physics, higher res textures, fast loading, instant resume...

So basically it's about as pointless as upgrading a 7 year old mid-range PC. That doesn't mean that PS5 won't have a draw with some of its exclusives, but I'd still say that the experience on the old Xbox and new Xbox will be night and day, and the idea of buying an upgrade to get a better experience with your current library seems to work well on PC.
You're still limiting game design around the lower spec hardware, so all games will have to only take advantage of the 5GB Xbox one allocation for memory or whatever the amount is. While XSX has double that to play with in reality, so the actual world's the developers could design could be much bigger and more impressive and as for physics they still have to design the engine around those 8 year old Jaguar cores first. Who cares if Xbox one is low settings and XSX is ultra settings if the games come to PC as well, I've always bought a console for experiences I can't get on PC. I'd get a XSX for a game that is designed for it.
 

bviktor

Posts: 173   +351
Dear Phil, I like and respect you, but I still don't understand what my motivation is to buy an Xbox if I can play all Xbox games without an Xbox. Clearly, I'll buy a PS5 then, much like I did with the PS4. Will you never learn?
 
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Irata

Posts: 636   +836
TechSpot Elite
Dear Phil, I like and respect you, but I still don't understand what my motivation is to buy an Xbox if I can play all Xbox games without an Xbox. Clearly, I'll buy a PS5 then, much like I did with the PS4. Will you never learn?
They will not be exclusive to the *new* XBox, I.e. also available on the current XBox. Maybe also on Windows PC.

I really don‘t get the „exclusive games or no sale“ attitude. Does it make people feel better that only members of their cult can play these games ? XBox, Playstation, PC...I really don‘t care as long as there are fun games to play and the price is right.
 

bviktor

Posts: 173   +351
They will not be exclusive to the *new* XBox, I.e. also available on the current XBox. Maybe also on Windows PC.

I really don‘t get the „exclusive games or no sale“ attitude. Does it make people feel better that only members of their cult can play these games ? XBox, Playstation, PC...I really don‘t care as long as there are fun games to play and the price is right.
It has nothing to do with "attitude" or "cults", it's called common sense. I'm not shelling out $500 for a console for no added benefit. I can play all cross-platform games on the PS4, but I can't play TLOU on the Xbox, so obviously, I got myself the PS4 and not the Xbox One. It's not the cross-platform titles that make you pick one or the other, it's the exclusives that do. So according to Phil, the same exact thing will happen when next-gen hits the stores, I'll go Sony.

Is this concept really that hard to grasp? Or will you at least answer the original question regarding my motivation to buy an Xbox?
 
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amghwk

Posts: 731   +508
Too many jerks online nowadays. Or internet age has exposed those jerks more prominently, as a result.
 

darkzelda

Posts: 380   +188
I'm a PC gamer and this approach is really convenient for me. I recently bought an Xbox for my kids and with the GamePass Ultimate, we all have fun at home. As for next gen consoles go, I'll buy an Xbox series X, besides I don't like PS exclusive games, not to mention that Sony consoles are junk. I don't really get why a PC gamer would even buy a play station.
 

Lounds

Posts: 487   +367
I'm a PC gamer and this approach is really convenient for me. I recently bought an Xbox for my kids and with the GamePass Ultimate, we all have fun at home. As for next gen consoles go, I'll buy an Xbox series X, besides I don't like PS exclusive games, not to mention that Sony consoles are junk. I don't really get why a PC gamer would even buy a play station.
I bet more PC gamers own a Playstation than an Xbox. I'm definitely one of them.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 19   +27
Hmm, makes it hard to work out why I'd buy a Xbox then when I can play nearly all the games on my PC or existing XB1S. I mean I'm happy that I can play whatever games MS studio's release, but it makes investing in another XB hard to justify over the next few years. Games sell consoles, not specs, so I'll always be inclined to buy the console that gives me access to the games I want to play. If the PS5 has a lot of PS5 exclusives that tickle my fancy, then I'll likely buy that over a console that offers no exclusives that I can't play on existing hardware.