Wednesday, August 12th 2020

Xbox Series X Launches this November with Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations

Today, we announced updates to Halo Infinite's launch timing. Our vision at Xbox and 343 Industries has always been to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever for our fans, while also balancing the team's well-being. To do that, we will need some more time to finish the critical work necessary to launch Halo Infinite, which will come in 2021.

We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: there will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year. And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one.
  • More than 50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X, including Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Watch Dogs: Legion. With Smart Delivery you only have to buy these games once to play the best versions for your console, across generations.
  • New games developed for Xbox Series X and launching with Xbox Game Pass, including exclusives like The Medium, Scorn, Tetris Effect: Connected, and more.
  • More than 40 popular games newly optimized to take full advantage of Xbox Series X such as Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Madden NFL 21, and more.
  • A shared library of great games through Xbox Game Pass
Hundreds of developers are at work on new games for Xbox Series X that will raise the bar for fidelity, speed and immersion; and the best way to discover new games will be with Xbox Game Pass. Game Pass delivers a curated library of content across console and PC, including all games from Xbox Game Studios the day they launch, for one low monthly price. Beginning September 15th, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will also be able to play more than 100 games from the cloud on their Android phone or tablet, enabling them to take their console gaming on the go. Experiences you expect on Xbox consoles such as your friends list, achievements, controller settings and saved game progress all come with you when you play on mobile.

Play thousands of games across four generations of content
Playing your favorite games and franchises across four generations of Xbox was a key tenet for us in the next generation of console gaming. This commitment means that you will have access to thousands of titles across four generations of content - from Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Our back compat team continues to develop new innovations that can be applied to a curated list of titles that will enhance them even further than was possible when they were originally created. These optimizations include the ability to render titles with increased resolutions up to 4K, delivering new HDR reconstruction techniques to games that were developed years before HDR came into existence, applying anisotropic filtering to improve image quality, and creating ways to increase or double the frame rate of certain titles.

Whether you've played for years or have just recently picked up a controller, we can't wait for you to see and feel the first big step into gaming's next generation with Xbox Series X this November.
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15 Comments on Xbox Series X Launches this November with Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations

#1
Naito
Microsoft does not really have anything to drive sales of this console. First-party launch games are missing and cross-platform games don't look much better than what the One X can deliver already. Sony's PS5 reveals may not have been great, but they have shown some first-party games that get people excited.
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#2
TheLostSwede
So many pre-announcements, but so far, no word on pricing...
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#3
Raevenlord
News Editor
I think Microsoft could care less about console sales. They're looking - as they've said in the past - at platform engagement and software sales as the driving force for their Xbox business.

They've already earned the "elite" crown by having the most powerful console. That gives them a halo positioning in the console gaming sapce, and users that are mostly interested in multiplatform games( CoD, Assassin's Creed, and whatnot) will flock to the best-performing console instead of the less powerful option.

With that covered, Microsoft is looking at where the real money is - software. Releasing games like Halo infinite for PC as well opens Microsoft up to a huge market that they didn't have before. Halo 3 was the most successful gaming release when it launched - despite being only available on Xbox. Add to that the multitude of PC gamers, and you've got a recipe for success in sales and revenue - this is where companies make money. This and Game Pass, which now is also available for PC users.

Any PC user that spends a single dollar on a previously xbox-console exclusive game is a win. Every PC user that signs up for Game pass is a win as well for Microsoft - it's a revenue stream they didn't have before.

Microsoft will do just fine. And their franchises will too. They don't need to sell boxes with their thin margins and warranty claims and logistics issues. They need to move digital assets. And that's what Microsoft is all about this generation.
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#4
Naito
Raevenlord
They don't need to sell boxes with their thin margins and warranty claims and logistics issues
Then why bother spending millions designing and manufacturing a new console? Why not just refresh the One X and push people to xcloud? The large back catalogue of games doesn't need a new console. And if they're trying to sell software, they're doing a poor job promoting next generation and driving further sales.
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#5
Vayra86
'Spanning four generations' in other words, we get to replay old stuff on a higher resolution.

Nice, but I have a PC for that and all I need to do is click an install button...
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#6
altcapwn
Vayra86
'Spanning four generations' in other words, we get to replay old stuff on a higher resolution.

Nice, but I have a PC for that and all I need to do is click an install button...
I'm wondering if their "backward compatibility" will be streamed game like PS Now.
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#7
Th3pwn3r
Naito
Then why bother spending millions designing and manufacturing a new console? Why not just refresh the One X and push people to xcloud? The large back catalogue of games doesn't need a new console. And if they're trying to sell software, they're doing a poor job promoting next generation and driving further sales.
Agreed. They wouldn't be making consoles if they didn't care about it...I don't get that part of his post.
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#8
agatong55
Dont you think that with all these games that are playable on the computer as well as the x box hurt the market just a little bit?
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#9
Soulwatcher
I'm going to sit this one out and wait to see what happens in the PC world next year . I can't justify buying 2 new consoles when I could just upgrade my PC for the same price and it would be even more powerful then both consoles.
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#10
Rean
Raevenlord
I think Microsoft could care less about console sales. They're looking - as they've said in the past - at platform engagement and software sales as the driving force for their Xbox business.

They've already earned the "elite" crown by having the most powerful console. That gives them a halo positioning in the console gaming sapce, and users that are mostly interested in multiplatform games( CoD, Assassin's Creed, and whatnot) will flock to the best-performing console instead of the less powerful option.

With that covered, Microsoft is looking at where the real money is - software. Releasing games like Halo infinite for PC as well opens Microsoft up to a huge market that they didn't have before. Halo 3 was the most successful gaming release when it launched - despite being only available on Xbox. Add to that the multitude of PC gamers, and you've got a recipe for success in sales and revenue - this is where companies make money. This and Game Pass, which now is also available for PC users.

Any PC user that spends a single dollar on a previously xbox-console exclusive game is a win. Every PC user that signs up for Game pass is a win as well for Microsoft - it's a revenue stream they didn't have before.

Microsoft will do just fine. And their franchises will too. They don't need to sell boxes with their thin margins and warranty claims and logistics issues. They need to move digital assets. And that's what Microsoft is all about this generation.
This line of thinking always struck me as a way for Microsoft to fail at this generation without having to call it failing. Whether they like it or not, consoles sold are the actual measure of the majority of their captive userbase (most PC users are locked tight into Steam's ecosystem at this point). Otherwise, what's the point of even releasing 2 new consoles into the marketplace? Logistics, manufacturing, aftersales etc are not cheap.

The gamepass-centric approach has a lot of flaws (Imran Khan did a great job outlining most of them here), we know that gamepass is a strong source of revenue, but how profitable is it for game studios? How profitable is it for Microsoft itself? And if most games will be required to run on all/most Xbox systems, then we are going to end up in a situation where most multi-platform games are held back from a technical standpoint just so microsoft can keep its Gamepass offerings uniform across all its product range?

I have a feeling Sony is going to win this gen, at least in its initial period.
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#11
Lionheart
Put a Steam app on your new shiny Box Microsoft then I'd consider it. :pimp: :rolleyes:
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#12
ZeppMan217
Raevenlord
I think Microsoft could care less about console sales. They're looking - as they've said in the past - at platform engagement and software sales as the driving force for their Xbox business.
That just sounds like loser talk. "Our numbers are shit, therefore numbers don't matter." Xbox doesn't have any relevant, non-1st party exclusives. Game Pass has been their most touted success, and I reckon that has more to do with the $1 per month for 3 months subscription offer than anything else.
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#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
ZeppMan217
That just sounds like loser talk. "Our numbers are shit, therefore numbers don't matter." Xbox doesn't have any relevant, non-1st party exclusives. Game Pass has been their most touted success, and I reckon that has more to do with the $1 per month for 3 months subscription offer than anything else.
The point is to make money. Afaik Sony doesn't make money on hardware, at least not for the first bunch of years. There are more options than Most Consoles Sold and quitting the business.
Naito
Then why bother spending millions designing and manufacturing a new console? Why not just refresh the One X and push people to xcloud? The large back catalogue of games doesn't need a new console. And if they're trying to sell software, they're doing a poor job promoting next generation and driving further sales.
Why does Lenovo make new laptops, or Apple new computers, or AMD/Intel/Nvidia new consumer chips when peope can just stream? They could do a streaming client, but that would mean the death of the Xbox as a gaming console. I assume it will happen at some point (as a low cost option), but we're not quite there yet. MS absolutely cares about consoles sold, but they are far, far more interested in software and games.

So @Raevenlord was technically correct, they "could care less" which means they do care.
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#14
Naito
Expanding upon my original point; of course Microsoft cares whether people buy this console or not. More consoles sold means more, as Rean put it, captive audience and more titles sold per console. First-party games, particularly at launch when enthusiasts are ready to throw around money, are the main driving force of getting these consoles into homes. Without a strong first-party lineup, it doesn't matter how powerful the console is. Look at the PS4 Pro vs One X. The One X is ~50% more powerful on paper, but yet it really didn't do much to claw back market share from Sony. The gap between the Series X and PS5 is much smaller and most will probably just conclude that the PS5 is "close enough".

Furthermore, early adopters generally set the trends for everyone else. If a hardcore console gamer chooses a PS5 over a Series X, what do you think there friends and associates will more likely buy? They're going to go with what more of their friends and families have, regardless if cross-play exists or not. All this has a big knock-on effect. Less consoles sales, means less software sales and less subscriptions.

While Game Pass is oft seen as being great value (and it really can be) and does present some big AAA titles, there really isn't that much on offer. Select Ubisoft and Bethesda titles mixed in with primarily first-party or partner studio games. Where's EA, Rockstar, etc? Once the initial thrill and promotions of Game Pass are over, I don't know if there will be enough reason for people to maintain the subscription. Giving it away for a dollar and releasing the occasional first-party title isn't going to make Microsoft much money.

XCloud may change things up a bit, but in reality, not everyone has the internet to reliably stream games, so will be niche for the foreseeable future.

The home console is the trojan horse for software.
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#15
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Naito
Expanding upon my original point; of course Microsoft cares whether people buy this console or not. More consoles sold means more, as Rean put it, captive audience and more titles sold per console. First-party games, particularly at launch when enthusiasts are ready to throw around money, are the main driving force of getting these consoles into homes. Without a strong first-party lineup, it doesn't matter how powerful the console is. Look at the PS4 Pro vs One X. The One X is ~50% more powerful on paper, but yet it really didn't do much to claw back market share from Sony. The gap between the Series X and PS5 is much smaller and most will probably just conclude that the PS5 is "close enough".

Furthermore, early adopters generally set the trends for everyone else. If a hardcore console gamer chooses a PS5 over a Series X, what do you think there friends and associates will more likely buy? They're going to go with what more of their friends and families have, regardless if cross-play exists or not. All this has a big knock-on effect. Less consoles sales, means less software sales and less subscriptions.

While Game Pass is oft seen as being great value (and it really can be) and does present some big AAA titles, there really isn't that much on offer. Select Ubisoft and Bethesda titles mixed in with primarily first-party or partner studio games. Where's EA, Rockstar, etc? Once the initial thrill and promotions of Game Pass are over, I don't know if there will be enough reason for people to maintain the subscription. Giving it away for a dollar and releasing the occasional first-party title isn't going to make Microsoft much money.

XCloud may change things up a bit, but in reality, not everyone has the internet to reliably stream games, so will be niche for the foreseeable future.

The home console is the trojan horse for software.
Of course it is. That is the point. Like your computer is the trojan horse for software (software like games).

As for the money point: MS saw it as worth it to develop the .... Series X. How much money did they make on the 360? We don't know, but evidentally they thought it was worth another go.
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