What to Watch for with Xbox in 2021 (Premium)

As we enter the final stretch of 2020, it’s an important time of the year to start looking ahead to figure out the path for some of our favorite product lines. And understanding what will make them ‘tick’, if you will, helps to keep expectations in-line for the year ahead.

This post was spawned, get it..spawned, anyway from a question asked about what I am looking forward to in 2021 for Xbox and it breaks down into five areas of focus. There are certainly additional areas of interest that should not be overlooked but as someone who writes extensively about the gaming brand, these are the questions that are currently outstanding in my brain as the doors of 2020 slam shut.

When the Honeymoon Ends

As of the writing of this post, the availability of next-gen consoles is constrained and we will not see this pressure subside until roughly late spring, according to Microsoft. But when the supply does finally meet demand, this timeline will be interesting to observe as it will be put in direct contention against the supply of the PlayStation 5.

Which console will reach ‘casual availability’ is a race to understand the demands of the hardware but without knowing the supply coming out of the factories, too much weight should not be placed on this metric. That being said, the longer the consoles are difficult to acquire, the stronger the demand, and the better this is for both Sony and Microsoft.

But at some point, the honeymoon for both manufacturers will end and they will need to go from supplying the dedicated fans who will buy the consoles because they exist to attracting customers who are on the fence or those who were not previously interested in the devices.

How Microsoft (and Sony) will do this will come down to marketing and games being released. Both companies have done this rodeo before but with a new console and a new generation of gamers, the challenges are constantly evolving for finding ways to stand out in the console crowd.

Bethesda Acquisition Closing

One of the ways that Microsoft hopes to stand out in that crowd is by acquiring studios. Last year, the company announced the intent to acquire Bethesda and its portfolio of titles. The 7.5 billion dollar acquisition sent ripples through the space-time fabric of the gaming industry.

But as of today, for legal reasons, the acquisition has not closed but is expected to sometime in the first half of 2021. Until the acquisition closes, Microsoft is not making any decisions for Bethesda but what I will be watching for is what happens when it does close.

Will Microsoft make any official statements about title exclusivity? Will they pull titles from other platforms? I’m not expecting them to immediately claw back IP into only the Xbox platform but I would expect them to provide clarification on future titles.

Game Delays

We all know the story of 2021 by now, delays are an inevitable part of the software industry and the pandemic only extrapolate...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC