In an interview with Polygon, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the Xbox Series X will see the “most diverse collection of first-party games”. And Spencer said these games will not only be available on the Xbox Series X but also the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, in a bid for Microsoft to “grow an Xbox ecosystem”.
- All the Xbox Series X games we know about so far
- PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: How the consoles stack up
- Plus: Forget PS5: AMD Big Navi for gaming PCs could launch in November
“I honestly think we’re in the best launch lineup position that we’ve ever been on Xbox,” said Spencer. “When I think about the strength and depth of the games that people are going to be able to play day one on Xbox Series X — not only because of [backward compatibility] — and the way that Game Pass really allows the total cost of ownership of our console, I think is a real strength.”
Spencer touted how the Xbox Series X will have Halo Infinite as its launch title, which is the first time a Halo game will be available at the start of a new generation of games consoles since the original Xbox launch in 2001. But the real difference between the Xbox and the PS5, according to Spencer, is its approach to allowing games to be played across multiple platforms.
“I think the fundamental difference is that we’re trying to grow an Xbox ecosystem,” Spencer explained. “We’re trying to build that around the player and give the player choice. If they choose to play on their television on a console, we want to have absolutely the best console experience. And I think we have that.”
However, Spencer noted that not everyone will be able to buy a new games console at launch, especially when the financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic are taken into consideration. So not only will games be available on the current Xbox One consoles but thanks to Smart Delivery, people will be able to get Xbox Series X versions of the games they own on the Xbox One for free if and when they decide to upgrade to the next-generation console.
“Because I don’t think everybody should have to go buy a new collection of games when they buy a new console,” said Spencer. “I just fundamentally don’t believe that. I think you should have games that look great on that new console. But you shouldn’t have to go buy all-new games to go play on that console.”
Sony appears to be taking a different approach with the PS5, which seems a lot more focussed on creating a next-generation gaming machine that’s designed for running a new wave of visually impressive games. Spencer said that “multiple strategies can succeed”, though it would appear Microsoft’s approach to building out an Xbox ecosystem is quite different to Sony’s console strategy.
We’ve already discussed how Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem will be formed of both generations of Xbox consoles, Windows 10 PCs, and game streaming via Project xCloud, which will be bundled into Xbox Game Pass. All of which means that a day-one upgrade to the Xbox Series X doesn’t look like it will be essential for Xbox fans.
Which strategy comes out on top has yet to be seen. But a lot of new console successes rely on the games they bring with them.
There’s already a pretty comprehensive suite of PS5 games, while the Xbox Series X games that have been revealed so far are mostly third-party titles. That could all change on Thursday, where we’re expecting to see a mighty swathe of Xbox games, and possibly even Fable 4.