Box Art For New Xbox Games Is Too Damn Messy

Microsoft want you to know when a game is optimized for the Xbox Series X, and at this point it'd be hard to miss.


Sony recently revealed its ever-so-slight box art redesign for its PlayStation 5 titles, using Spider-Man: Miles Morales to show off the new white border that will accompany each retail box. Microsoft hasn't announced anything as radically different for their next-gen games. In fact, at first glance, they don't appear to be any different from Xbox One cases and games that support the older console will have the new packaging. However, you'll know you're looking at one when you see one big, obnoxious sticker. It's meant to be a major selling point for the games, but it takes something away from the artwork on display for each game.

"Optimized for Xbox Series X" is a way for Microsoft to communicate that a game is supported on both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X, but that it also includes enhancements for its next-generation console. Problem is that the sticker takes up so much real estate on the actual box that it comes off as more annoying than anything, obscuring whatever eye-catching design the game's developer was aiming for. In the case of Dirt 5, which you can see below, part of the car is hidden. It isn't much, but it does take away from the flashy scene on display.

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Combine that with text near the top indicating resolution support, features such as HDR, and advertising for Smart Delivery, and you've got a very busy-looking box art template. The only other difference between generations is the removal of "One" from the top border, since Microsoft is pushing the idea of a single unified Xbox ecosystem. Your collection of Xbox One and Series X games will blend together on a shelf.

Dirt 5 Box Art
Dirt 5 Box Art

It's a small, near meaningless difference that you might never notice, especially if you've already made the jump to an all-digital games library. And with Sony announcing an all-digital PS5 and Capcom recently revealing that 80% of its sales are digital too, Microsoft's big, ugly sticker might fade into the past faster than you expect. It's also only likely to apply to third-party games for a short period, as they'll likely transition to exclusively next-generation development once the console has built up a user-base. Microsoft, meanwhile, will mostly be sticking to cross-gen games for a few years.

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