Microsoft: The Future of Gaming is … You

Posted on July 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox Series X with 30 Comments

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has penned an interesting editorial explaining his firm’s strategy for the future of gaming. And it’s all about you. Literally. But it’s also a not-so-subtle rebuke to market leader Sony, which is making a break with the past with the PlayStation 5.

“At Xbox, we listen to what you—players, game developers, and content creators—tell us you want from the future of gaming,” he says. “Based on your feedback, we’re building a future where you and your friends can play the deepest, most immersive[,] and interactive games ever created across your Xbox console, PC, and mobile devices. At the dawn of the next generation, it’s important to be clear about what you can expect from the future of Xbox. [And] our vision has one hero at the heart of it all: You.”

Spencer promises that gamers can expect the following commitments when it comes to gaming on Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox consoles:

You will always be welcome. Microsoft wants to make the Xbox community safe, accessible, and welcoming for everyone, Spencer says, a place where you can have fun. And it is bringing new technology to market that it says will reduce hate speech and toxicity.

Your games will look and play best on Xbox Series X. Spencer says that all games will look and play best on Xbox Series X, so backward compatibility titles will always provide the best experience on the new console.

You play new games day one with Xbox Game Pass. All Xbox Game Studios titles will continue to launch into Xbox Game Pass on the same day as their global release. The Xbox Game Studios franchises that will launch into Game Pass day one of release include Halo, Forza, Age of Empires, Gears of War, Minecraft, Hellblade, The Outer Worlds, Psychonauts, Microsoft Flight Simulator, State of Decay, Wasteland, Minecraft Dungeons, and Sea of Thieves, with more new franchises in early development.

You won’t be forced into the next generation. Xbox Game Studios titles releasing in the next couple of years—including Halo Infinite—will be available on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One. “We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives,” Spencer says in a jab at Sony.

Your games will not be left behind. Thanks to backward compatibility, gamers will be able to play four generations of games on Xbox Series X on day one. “It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console,” Spencer says, in another jab at Sony.

Your Xbox One gaming accessories come forward too. Xbox One peripherals like the Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller all work on Xbox Series X, so gamers won’t need to purchase new controllers. Yes, yet another jab at Sony: “Unlike others, we believe that your investments in gaming should move with you into the next generation.”

You can buy games once at no added cost. Unlike with the PlayStation, Xbox gamers won’t need to buy the same game twice, once for the current console generation and once for the next generation. Instead, if you own a title that supports Smart Delivery—like Destiny 2, Gears 5, and Halo Infinite—you will automatically have access to the version that plays best on your Xbox console. Third-party games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Avengers and more have already committed to supporting Smart Delivery and more will be announced soon, Spencer says.

You choose how to jump into the next generation of gaming. Thanks to Xbox All Access, gamers can get Xbox Series X and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a low monthly price with no up-front costs, no finance charges, and no hidden fees. “You get to enjoy an instant library of over 100 high-quality games, join friends with online multiplayer, and experience new Xbox Game Studios titles the day they release, including Halo Infinite, on the fastest, most powerful Xbox ever,” Spencer says. For parents, guardians, and caregivers, the new Xbox Family Settings app for iOS and Android also provides a way to create child accounts, customize family settings, and ensure that your kids have access to gaming that you feel is appropriate.

You will get more from your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. This September, Microsoft is bringing Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud together at no additional cost for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members (in supported countries). “With cloud gaming in Game Pass Ultimate, you will be able to play over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles on your phone or tablet,” Spencer says. “And because Xbox Live connects all across devices, you can play along with the nearly 100 million Xbox Live players around the world. So when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can play together and immerse yourselves in the Halo universe as Master Chief—anywhere you go and across devices.”

Finally, Spencer also promises that next week’s Xbox Games Showcase (on Thursday, July 23) will provide the first look at the Halo Infinite Campaign.

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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Microsoft: The Future of Gaming is … You”

  1. Stooks

    Microsoft = Subscription. The future of Xbox gaming is some form of subscription. Nothing wrong with that, as its good for business.

    "And it is bringing new technology to market that it says will reduce hate speech and toxicity."

    I have heard that before, many times. Play COD on Xbox Live and see how bad it really is.

    Good luck Microsoft. I think Sony and the PS5 will own this next round like they did the last, by a 2 to 1 ratio.

  2. glenn8878

    Does this mean you can acquire a used Xbox game and use it on your latest Xbox? Not really, the game has to have Smart Delivery. How many games have Smart Delivery? Even with used games, what if you have a disc-less console? You can't prove you own the game unless you use your current version with disc reader to register your games. Xbox All Access is probably the way to go. Get all your titles at once for the membership.

    • Thretosix

      In reply to glenn8878:

      The disc is required if you are using media to verify backwards compatibility. Most games are really cheap anyways and go on sale often. Many show up for free with a Live Gold subscription. Smart Delivery is more for Xbox One games that have a Series X upgrade. Any game you buy digitally will be there, you just have to download them. With the series X if you buy one of their proprietary SSD's you can copy a game to it and bring to your friend's Series X and play it. Something you won't be able to do with a PS5 because the SSD isn't removable.

      • SvenJ

        In reply to Thretosix: The SSDs aren't proprietary are they? I see ads for the same external SSDs I buy regularly to be used for XBox. Wouldn't be surprised if you have to format them special for XBox.

        • Usman

          In reply to SvenJ:

          To play series X games, you have to buy the proprietary SSD, as external USB / Sata based SSDs are not fast enough.

          On the PS5 you can use pcie SSDs however you have to purchase a higher end PCIe 4.0 SSD that has a through put of 7GB/s, which are just about to come on the market, but with a heafty price tag.

        • Thretosix

          In reply to SvenJ:

          Yes it's a little card you stick in back of the Series X. Digital Foundry has a video from some Microsoft building where they actually got to get their hands on it and is explained quite well, if I remember it is made by Seagate. Perhaps in the future more companies will make 3rd party SSD's that will work as well. You can still use the USB port to store media and play non Series X games due to the Velocity Architecture having direct access to the SSD. You can even backup a game so you don't have to delete and re-download a Series X game since the drives are only 1TB. The fact that the Series X expanded storage is removable you could have multiple or remove to bring to a friends house.

  3. KPixel

    @Paul: Can you please (always) include a link to the source of the article?

  4. Rycott

    Hah! Microsoft taking a jab at others for not leaving customers behind... *stares at trail of killed consumer products left behind by Microsoft*

  5. ghostrider

    Well, you can certainly see MS are pulling out all the stops to try and get one over on Sony this time round. Will it make any difference though is the big question!

  6. Aras

    Then at the end of the business week, Microsoft announces that the Xbox division has been sold to Facebook effective immediately lol.

  7. Daekar

    If I were a console gamer, this would have me gibbering with glee. As a PC gamer who is hooked on discounted titles from Epic and Steam, both Sony and Microsoft have a bit of work yet to bring me into the fold.

    Nintendo is the only company that has IPs highly-differentiated enough for me to pay full price, and that's only sometimes.

  8. brothernod

    Is Kinect officially dead? Will my Kinect games not work on XsX? I mean i don't play them so whatever, but curious nonetheless.

  9. blue77star

    They lost me at word subscription. I understand their business model and sounds good to a lot of people. However, there is a good chunk of people like myself who don't want to sign up for any type of subscription. It is just not economically feasible. I am PC gamer and I like to take my time and play games when they go on sale for <$20. Unlike most people I require no instant gratification of anything.

    • Thretosix

      In reply to blue77star:

      Subscriptions are optional. Especially on PC as you say you're a PC gamer. Games like Forza Horizon 4 on PC don't require a Live Gold subscription. Game pass is up to the consumer, though it does offer a great value. I personally don't subscribe to game pass myself.

      • Vladimir Carli

        In reply to Thretosix:

        its funny to hear many people stating that game pass offers great value but they don’t subscribe. I stopped my subscription several months ago because I don’t see so much value in it to be honest. I buy 2-3 games per year and spend hundreds of hours with them. I don’t understand what one does with 100+ games

        • Thretosix

          In reply to Vladimir:

          Because I buy all the games I want to play. With Game pass you get a plethora of games to play with discounts on the games if you wish to buy. I play just a few games. Many people like a wider range of games than I like to play. Why should I buy a game pass when I'm just going to buy 1 or 2 of those games. Most of my friends play a lot of these games and never finish them anyways. I'm saying I see the value in it and see how it would benefit a lot of people. It's an opinion bub. What's funny is you take my opinion and attack it. Your opinion is different so you attack my opinion. I just see where others could see value even though I don't pay for it. I'm actually an idiot for not paying for it because I pay for Live Gold anyways where I could be paying less for the games I do buy. Good luck, happy gaming.

          • Vladimir Carli

            In reply to Thretosix:

            Man... relax. I was not attacking you and I am sorry if you felt that way. I just meant that game pass seems appealing because it offfers 100+ Games but when you actually subscribe to it, it’s not that good of a deal. I think most gamers play just a few games for many hours and in that situation buying the games is better. Each one of us (you and me for sure) jumped at game pass in the beginning but soon stopped the subscription. I am afraid that many people feel the same way about it

      • blue77star

        In reply to TriplePlayed:

        Yes. You still have to pay for live which is not economically feasible to me. As PC Gamer I am not forced into anything and Steam does not require any monthly subscription. As I said I never play new titles, $69 is too much for me. I always wait for new games to drop on sale <$20.00. What Microsoft is doing with XBOX is awesome, don't get me wrong.

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