Play anything, anywhere
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming division, released a sprawling mission statement this week. At the core of it, one message was clear: The future of gaming belongs to you. Several points were covered in the statement. A major theme is that Xbox is for everyone. Better tools to fight harassment and online trolls are being phased in soon, with a more robust safety team being introduced. In addition, a greater emphasis will be placed on diversity in games, especially in the development phase.
Buried further down the page is a major plug for Xbox Series X, which isn’t all that interesting at this point — we know! It’s super powerful! More interesting, however, is the promise of backwards compatibility, claiming to support 4 generations of Xbox on one console. Presumably, this stretches from original Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Xbox One family of products. Very cool! On top of that, all future Xbox Game Studios titles (including Halo Infinite) will run on both the base Xbox One and Xbox Series X. No player left behind! Xbox One accessories will similarly be backwards/forwards compatible between the two systems.
Finally, Xbox Game Pass will let players experience titles on day one, with the option to buy later, and it’ll apply to all their releases. Titles such as State of Decay, Halo, Forza, and Sea of Thieves are all included. Other new features such as Smart Delivery allow you to buy a single game once and play it on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, if you should upgrade later.
The marquee feature being touted is the merging of Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass for Ultimate subscribers. Such a merger of services will mean games like Halo Infinite can be played off of mobile devices, even going so far as playing online with others. In theory, this means someone could start a game on their Xbox and pick it up later on with their phone, a lofty promise for a $14.99 USD subscription.