Microsoft, it seems, is on the verge of killing the concept of "console generation." This may seem a bit hyperbolic, but judging by the comments of Phil Spencer and Matt Booty, maybe Xbox One will be the start of it all.
Microsoft is also known to release its exclusive Xbox PC games, including even Halo Infinite. This is due to Microsoft's move to reach as many players as possible to sell games and services. So having consoles, PCs and even smartphones (Project xCloud) is a way to be present where players are.
If you think this could have drastic implications for the hardware itself, you're right, and what Phil Spencer is effectively describing here is the end of the whole idea of a console generation, as it predicts a future where the Xbox is continually updated with more power so that the system can live effectively forever.
Read all the relevant part of the statement:
“We see on other platforms, whether it's smartphones or PCs, that you get continuous innovation you rarely see on the console. Consoles lock out hardware and software platforms early in generation. So you ride the generation for seven years or more while other ecosystems are getting better, faster and stronger. And then you wait for the next big step function.
“When you look at console space, I think we'll see more hardware innovations in console space than we've ever seen. You'll really see us launching new hardware features over a generation that allows the same games to run backwards and forward compatible because we have a Universal Windows App running on the Universal Windows Platform that allows us to focus increasingly on the innovation of hardware without invalidating games running on that platform. ”
“We may actually feel a little more like what we see on the PC, where I can still go back and play my old Doom and Quake games I used to play years ago, but I still see the best 4K games and my library is always with me. Hardware innovation continues while software innovation is able to take advantage and I don't have to skip a generation and lose everything I've played before. “
This is simply a surprising path for the industry if the future unfolds the way Spencer sees it. In this scenario, there is never really an Xbox Two.
While Xbox 360, it was called "360" and Xbox One "One." In the Xbox Series X, Microsoft says the name is Xbox only, the "Series X" is just the model. So we can assume that the strategy of killing with console generation should start on the Xbox Series X, but what about Xbox One?
Long live Xbox One
Matt Booty recently said in an interview the following:
"If our content comes out next year and the year after, all our games can be played up and down like PCs," Booty explains. "We want to make sure that if someone now invests in Xbox up to (Series X), they feel they've made a good investment and that we are committed to our content."
So unlike other generations, and possibly Playstation 5, Xbox One gamers will have Xbox Game Studios games for at least a year or two after the release of the Xbox Series X. About this, analyst Daniel Ahmad:
View some discussions about Xbox's intergenerational plans today. It might be added: Microsoft's goal is to increase the number of players in its gaming ecosystem, with multiple entry points, a large content library, and a variety of connected services. The Xbox is more than a box in 2020.
Seeing some discussion of Xbox cross gen plans today. May as well add:
Microsoft's goal is to grow the number of players in its gaming ecosystem, with multiple entry points, a large library of content and a range of connected services.
Xbox is more than a box in 2020.
– Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 10, 2020
Some sites have posted such negative news that it would be bad for Xbox to release new games to the current generation audience as it could hurt Xbox Series X sales, Daniel made a mocking joke about it:
This is bad because it means I won't spend $$$ on new hardware and save money buying games for existing hardware I have… Wait.
This is bad because it means I won't spend $$$ on new hardware and instead save money by buying the games for the existing hardware I have…
– Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 10, 2020
In addition we have outstanding issues, as Microsoft wants to bring Xbox mobile games through Project xCloud, so it is quite possible that Xbox One will receive such support in the future as well.
What we do know is that if you have an Xbox One, don't worry as we should get a lot of games yet, and the Playstation 4 might not be so lucky.
I have been a lawyer, journalist and fan of the Windows platform for about 10 years. I cover events and I am daily aware of Microsoft's universe of consumer products.
I respond as executive editor of Windows Club.