Xbox Series X Won’t Launch With Next-Gen Exclusive Games

A very different kind of console launch.

359 Comments

Xbox Series X is aiming for a holiday release, and a new console launch usually comes alongside shiny new exclusives that showcase its power. Microsoft has a different plan in mind this time, though, as head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty says its first-party games will be entirely cross-gen for the first year or two.

"As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices," Booty told MCV. "We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we're committed to them with content."

So rather than force an upcoming game to be exclusive to the Series X, Booty says Microsoft will keep releasing games for Xbox One and let the upgraded performance on the Series X speak for itself. That means making sure its flagship game, Halo Infinite, will be ready to showcase the new console at launch.

"Our approach is to pick one or two IP that we're going to focus on and make sure that they're there at the launch of the console, taking advantage of all the features. And for us that's going to be Halo Infinite, which is a big opportunity. It's the first time in over 15 years that we'll have a Halo title launching in sync with a new console. And that team is definitely going to be doing things to take advantage of [Series X]."

It's a model more akin to a phone upgrade. Games still release across devices, but you'll get a better performance with the newer hardware. Microsoft has signaled this direction for the next generation before, especially with its announcement that "Series X" is just one of potentially several models we'll see in the coming years. The line of products itself, the company has stated, is now just "Xbox."

This may be a gamble, however, as players who are still able to enjoy games like Halo Infinite on their current hardware may not feel as compelled to upgrade. That could impact hardware adoption rates, when we know Sony is looking to shift its player-base to PS5 more rapidly.

For more on the Xbox Series X, check out everything we know.

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flashn00b

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Somehow, i can see an "Upgrade to current gen" package for first-party games like how Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts had a $10 upgrade from PS3/XB360 to PS4/XB1. I can definitely see those upgrade purchases adding up in terms of money spent on game sales.

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ExoticCharm

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Games like Halo Infinite will be available to 100+ million people at launch thanks to this decision. Only a small handful of people will have a ps5 when it launches, and only a fraction of that will get whatever ps5-exclusive game it has. It wouldn't be hard at all to imagine Halo Infinite selling 10x what the ps5 game will sell.

Since software sales mean everything in the gaming industry and the hardware only exists as a means to sell software, then locking a game to one gen just to squeeze a few extra hardware sales is pointless.

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CBTDesigner

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Edited By CBTDesigner

I fell for the "Day One" edition XBOX One. Never again. Microsoft (or any other console manufacturer) is going to have to prove they're worth it, for me to upgrade.

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Kyoshiro19

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Already decided Xbox One is going to be my last Xbox. I hardly play my Xbox at all. Going to sell the one I have and take that money to put towards my pc build. There are some pc games I’ve really been wanting to play. Seems a lot of their games are on pc as well. Definitely will be getting the PS5.

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SParent180

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@Kyoshiro19: if you have or can afford a nice PC build there really is no reason to get an Xbox. I believe all the "exclusives" will be available for PC and you can still take advantage of game pass so it's not like you'll be missing out on anything, unless the Series X is both more powerful and cheaper than your PC

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Zander80

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@sparent180: Not everything is about graphics. I have a PC and Xbox, and I primarily play on my Xbox. The convenience factor and "it just works" blows PC away. Not to mention console streaming is pretty damn good, I can play games on my phone or laptop in bed. While Gamepass in on both, they complement each other rather than be the same, as there are games available only on console or only on PC.

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theduckofdeath

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@zander80: I've played on PC since the '95 and consoles my entire life. Now that game libraries have all but converged, it comes down to a matter of preference. The freedom and performance of PC can't be matched. There are tons of older games for cheap and even new games provide the best version at discount prices. The only interference to that are console manufacturers paying for timed exclusivity. Some times PC games or one's PC itself have issues, though no major inconvenience.

I bought PS4 and One at launch, turned around and sold the PS4 because I really didn't think I should be buying either at the time. What MS has down with Play Anywhere is something I've clamoring for since the 360 days, only I want it for all titles. Games shouldn't shackled to console limitations. Gears 4 ran rough on even the One X vs. PC, though Gears 5 stepped up performance impressively.

With this announcement, I feel many commenters are being obtuse or at best, disingenuous. What 1st party launch exclusives were they truly expecting? How many were do you typically buy? No way was MS going to hold HALO: Infinite hostage -- it's been in development a long time, is more a late current gen release than a new gen title (though I'm sure the Series X version will be amped up). Artificially manufacturing exclusives isn't the way to go. Whether MS has exclusive deals with 3rd party publisher/developers for launch titles has yet to be seen.

Even Playstation exclusivity is a specter of a time long gone -- games like Yakuza, Nioh, Nier: Automata, Death Stranding all hit PC after a relatively short period. First party Sony exclusives have not proven enough to sway me.

I play primarily on PC these days. The main reason I may not buy a Series X at launch is I own a One X and PC. MS would have to delay HALO: Infinite's PC release to twist my arm a bit. The console is used for sports and fighting games, the convenience of playing simple games in the living room, backwards compatibility, any games not available for PC and entertainment apps.

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Will_Robinson

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@zander80: There's more to a good PC than the graphics. There's the processing, storage, memory and everything being in your own control. You can't open up a PS4 or XBox One and upgrade the GPU or RAM, for example. With a well built computer you can improve loading times, frame rate, and a plethora of other things outside of just the graphics. Right now I would even argue the most expensive upgrade isn't with a computer or even console upgrade, but the screen with which you view your game. For PC players, going from a 1080p monitor to a 4k monitor with a refresh rate higher than 60hz can be the most expensive component.

That said, As you mentioned Zander, the convenience of a console is a huge selling point. You buy it, plug it up, and you're ready to go. PCs have compatibility issues if you have the most recent or some very old components, and sometimes something just gets neglected by a developer so you have random FPS drops.

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SParent180

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@zander80: I definitely get that, it's why I'm strictly a console gamer. But for people with a gaming PC or planning to buy a gaming PC it makes perfect sense if they don't want to spend money on an Xbox. They would probably be better off investing the cash into better PC parts

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Alucard1001

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Edited By Alucard1001

I don’t get why this is so hard for most of you to understand. This is the same thing that goes on in PC gaming! You guys are all over the place trying to hate a good thing lol! When you buy a PC game you can toggle the settings. If your rig can run it at high end settings ala series X that’s what your gonna get. Instead of devs being wasteful and throwing away what’s left over from the cream of the crop, they just port that over to the Xbox one...Devs won’t have to sacrifice anything. These people are professionals...smh at you guys

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theduckofdeath

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Edited By theduckofdeath

@alucard1001: As well, this is what MS has been working towards through this generation with their PC IDE tools and Play Anywhere. I think people are forgetting how many 1st party titles typically release with a console, and if they are any good in the first place. Third party titles, exclusive or not, get the money. There hasn't been a HALO at console release since...well, HALO. I'm not sure if MS has had more than 1-2 titles at launch since XBOX, when they made their own sports titles. The bulk of my launch purchases are always the latest basketball, football, maybe soccer, then whatever else might be good. Previous generations hardware left too big of a gap for this to be possible, not to mention swapping chipset architectures.

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SParent180

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@alucard1001: I still believe there could be some limitations to an extent. Games on Series X will be top of the line quality when it comes to console games but because developers need to account for less powerful hardware while developing their games they might not be able to fully implement the things they want like new, innovative features and technology.

There could also be the question of whether this will be the same as developing a game for PC or if there will be other challenges developing a game for multiple consoles with varying levels of power.

But either way I'm not too worried about it. These games are still going to look like "next gen" games. Series X is roughly 4 times as powerful as the One X so even the worst optimized games should still look noticeably better on a Series X. There's just the chance that these games will have a slightly lower ceiling because they aren't being developed strictly for the Series X (at least in the early going, things can always change).

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parabol69

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@alucard1001: It's clickbait at it's finest.

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Sammoth72

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@alucard1001: ^This^

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Chippiez

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Ive had every Xbox at launch and what this news tells me is their strategy is to shift more people into the PC ecosystem and dump the console business entirely. PS5 already wins this upcoming gen. Later, Xbox, you guys just don’t “get it”. Win win, Ill still be able to play the handful of their titles on the X1X for quite some time. So even less reason to consider an upgrade from them.

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theduckofdeath

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Edited By theduckofdeath

@chippiez: Uh, you are doing what they want you to, then. You're still buying their games. You bought every Xbox including One and One X, sounds like. If you don't buy a Series X at launch, you'll likely buy one (a) year(s) down the road when it is cheaper and MS's profit margins are higher. Or you could buy MS games on the PC, where they profit from not only the game sale, but the Windows license -- a license that head to head generates more revenue than any console sale.

The reason they announced this is so less people stop buying Xbox One S/X this year, and to reassure the ones that did MS's new titles will be available to them.

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BDRTFM

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@chippiez: Every year Microsoft says the Xbox is going nowhere and every year people like you come out and say this is the end of Xbox. Maybe if you pay more attention it would keep you from being wrong every time.

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Mogan

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@chippiez: How does this shift more people into PC gaming, and why would MS want to drop the Xbox for that?

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Notafan

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@mogan: he was never an xbox player with comment that's how.

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ButDuuude

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Soooo, what’s the point of buying it at launch? 🤔

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theduckofdeath

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Edited By theduckofdeath

@ButDuuude: What about the people who can't afford to buy Series X and launch titles at launch? The bulk of those people could buy the games or a subset, play them on Xbox One/S/X knowing when one eventually upgrades to Series X, the games will upgrade, too. Buy a cheaper Xbox model if you don't have one or a capable PC. No need to buy multiple versions. MS already does this between Xbox and PC.

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Zander80

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@ButDuuude: What's the point of buying iPhone 11 or Galaxy S10 at launch?

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Notafan

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@ButDuuude: I'm not looking at this as a new console generation for Microsoft at this point I'm looking at this as an upgrade from the xbox one x. However the strategy here if you look at is kinda genius. This new console will be sold at a lost to the consumer but if they can sell you the same game on a lesser powerful console that has been out for awhile they make more money.

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Just1MoHr

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Here is my strategy. I still love some of the XB360 backward compatible games on XB1 and I cannot play those on the PS4 (Alien vs predator, Hawx, Ace Combat 6, Crysis 1-3, Dead Space 1-3, Lost Planet 1-3, Half Life Orange Box, Left 4 Dead 1,2, Ninja Gaiden 2,3, Zone of Enders, Burnout series, Star Wars Force Unleashed 1,2, SW on XB OG series, Panzer Dragoon, Sonic series & All Star Racing Transformed, Midway Arcade, Capcom Arcade, PacMan Museum, Galaga series, Hydro Thunder & Daytona USA, King Kong, Toy Story 3, Dirt series, Crazy Taxi, ..etc). I also love to play more multiplayer games, since single player Sony exlusive FOR ME gets boring pretty fast. So I buy XB first and wait for the PS5 to reach $200-250 and for the exclusive titles to get to $15. I bought my PS4 after XB1 and only paid $200 w/4 games, a steal!

I don't like sitting on my PC to play games often, as I love my couch and bigger TV experience. I love my XB with the tons of total games w/backcompat and XB has more of the games that I want to play. Some of the older games are so much more fun than the newer stuff that comes nowadays!

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heavymetalman77

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Edited By heavymetalman77

@just1mohr: You realize you can simply connect your pc to any tv via HDMI. I Play pc games all the time on my couch.

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caiol92

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Edited By caiol92

The thing is: the eighth generation is coming to an end, deal with it. As a company who wants to make money, Microsoft should encourage people to move to the new console, not stay on the current one. This move is very strange, and if I were an Xbox gamer, I would only consider buying the new console in 2022. Why buy a new console if I can still play on the current console?

I'm a PlayStation gamer since the first, and I couldn't afford the PS3 until 2013, when I sold my guitar and got my first job.

The PS4 only got interesting to me in 2018, with Spider-Man, and a definite purchase when Devil May Cry 5 was announced. The weakest generation ever, in my opinion.

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theduckofdeath

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@caiol92: Game development takes increasing greater resources & time, and engineers are expensive. Everybody in the company makes over $100k. A third party exclusively supporting one platform makes profitability elusive. So we have seen multi-platform releases skyrocket libraries converge. PC provides the best performance at each and every moment, at a cost.

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OldDadGamer

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@caiol92: why is it so many people sell their guitar and get their first job at the same time? 🤔

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caiol92

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@olddadgamer: At the time, I just couldn't wait any longer for a PS3, so I decided to sell my guitar and buy one. Then I got the job three months later. I eventually bought another guitar a year and a half later.

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ArifMunshi83

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Microsoft has made a lot of positive moves for consumers and invested heavily in developers for the next generation. This is where they failed this past generation. The only thing going for the series X is the full back catalogue of Xbox games payable at launch. I'm trying to source a cheap copy of burnout 3 as we speak.

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Alucard1001

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lol I do tech support for corporate. Most of these people have money but they have no idea how to check their email! 😂😂😂. You guys don’t understand how many people will never even attempt to game on PC we here think it’s common but I promise you the average consumer does not have a inkling or care to have a inkling to learn about PC’s! That’s why consoles still exist and MS is not worried about putting all games on PC it’s a niche community compared to console consumers.

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PlaystationZone

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Edited By PlaystationZone

If you can’t afford Xbox series x save up your money and then get one . Really MS is way behind making AAA Games exclusives and MS want take people money and don’t want put next gen games. Before bash me the true is MS should made next gen games for Xbox series x 3 or 4 years ago and then could have Xbox series x at launch . Sony might not go down this road and just realse 2 exclusives games at launch which not for the PS4 and aslo make cross gen games as well like did last time. PS5 will sale more and ninendo switch will sale more with switch pro than Xbox series x and then MS will be trouble because 3 party games go to PS5 to sale the game. Everyone has forgotten about Dreamcast sales and PlayStation 2 took all there 3 party support and it will happen Xbox series x if don’t sale enough consles. End game near for Xbox series x and head MS should be fired because destroying Xbox brand

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Bassam

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(+)

- exclusives

- software and community

- gamepass

- cross platforms ( PC - Xbox series X )

( - )

- cross generations

- not stable OS

- no new exclusive titles .. most of them like indies

- building quality issues .. mostly with controllers

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Alucard1001

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@bassam: Those are called assumptions my friend...holla at me on release day and then let me know if your right!

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Pyrosa

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@alucard1001: He's correct about the controllers -- build quality just keeps getting worse. Sub-12mo on my most recent two; one experiences a level of drift that used to take ~3y to wear down, and one has an unreliable D-pad down already. The custom laser-etched controller lost its stick grips and is drifting. I've tossed another two bundled controllers and one of the first series of $150-piece-of-garbage Elites (which completely failed in many ways, even after repairs).

...yet one of my O.G. XO controllers -- literally came in-box, pre-Bluetooth model - works as well as it did in 2014.

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theduckofdeath

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@Pyrosa: D-pad were an issue. I found good a few good models (two different white, XBX, and Elite) and haven't had issues for years. The Elite D-pad is also pretty good. Haven't had stick drift issues since OG Xbox and PS2, maybe 360. My Elite is from the second week after release and besides the default stick rubber wearing down recently, the only issue is my nephew used it without permission and dropped it on the hardwood. Now it the trigger rumble has an annoying buzz/rattle.

No idea what you guys are doing to the rubber grip on these things.

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Bassam

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PS wins .. FATALITY

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