Xbox Series X is lacking killer exclusives — but that may be about to change

Xbox Series X console
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

The Xbox Series X has a lot of games on the roster for later this year, from Microsoft Flight Simulator to Psychonauts 2. But apart from Halo Infinite, the “big-budget exclusive” category still seems a little light. 

Xbox fans can rest easy, however, as Microsoft plans to release more games this year — it just hasn’t announced which games, or when.

This information comes from a new episode of The Iron Lords podcast, via GamesRadar+. In the podcast, Jason Ronald, Xbox’s director of program management, discussed the company’s strategy for putting out games between now and the end of the year.

“Not every game releasing this year has been announced yet,” Ronald explained to the podcast hosts. 

This perhaps is not the most shocking news, but it’s good to hear it from one of the top Xbox executives. Still, longtime Xbox fans may not be surprised by this news — after all, it’s only March.

Although the gaming industry is still figuring out how to announce games and hardware without huge, in-person trade shows, 2020 still ran on a traditional schedule. Companies announced big news over the summer, then delivered the products in the fall. 

There won’t be a physical E3 in 2021, either, but Microsoft showed us plenty of new games during its summer livestreams last year. There’s no reason to think the company won’t follow a similar tack this year.

As for which games Ronald is referring to, it’s fun to speculate but all we have at the moment is guesswork. Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t seem impossible, as Forza Horizon 4 is now three years old. There’s a new mainline Forza game in the works, too, which seems like a reasonable option.

Avowed or the new Fable game could be farther along than Microsoft has let on. A new IP is hardly out of the question, given how many studios Microsoft has at its disposal. Ronald could also have been referring to third-party games that have either timed exclusivity or additional features on Xbox.

In any case, whatever Microsoft has in the works for later this year will be welcome. While the Xbox Series X is a standout console, Tom’s Guide bemoaned its lack of a system-selling game at launch — and four months later, we still don’t have one. 

It’s possible we’ll have to wait until Halo Infinite comes out before the Series X has a flagship game, but if we get something exciting sooner than that, so much the better.

Both Nintendo and Sony have done major livestreams this year to discuss their upcoming gaming schedules, but Microsoft hasn’t yet followed suit. Since the company apparently has more big games in the pipeline, we’ll hope for some kind of announcement within the next few months.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.