As we approach the beginning of the new generation of consoles, it’s safe to say that looking back in retrospect that the Xbox One did not fare so well this generation. A series of poor exec decisions resulted in the disastrous Xbox One reveal and the console never really recovered from it. We saw with the Xbox 360’s dominance that Microsoft can capture a large share of the market, here’s 5 reasons why Xbox will bounce back with the upcoming Series X.
The upcoming Xbox Series X is an absolute juggernaut of power and will be the world’s most powerful gaming console when it releases later this fall. Compared to the Xbox One’s resolution-gate scandal due to its weaker power to the PS4, this represents a seismic shift for team Xbox. Here’s a detailed rundown of the specs and how it compares to Sony’s upcoming PS5:
The Xbox Series X promises to deliver unparalleled graphical fidelity and based on the specs, it seems inevitable it’ll deliver on that promise. Some question how much power really matters but I think we saw with the Xbox One vs PS4 resolution gate at the start of this generation that power is a major fact that cannot be downplayed.
ISFE and Ipsos Mori’s GameTrack consumer survey found that the number one most important feature for next gen consoles to have is “better graphics” which 78% answered was the most important feature. Third party games will look best and run best on Xbox’s hardware and that is a big win for Team Xbox no matter how you slice it.
Microsoft dropped the ball when it came to exclusive games this generation. Whilst there were a few gems – they’re widely accepted to have fallen short compared to Sony’s offerings. However, it seems Microsoft realise this themselves and have been working hard to rectify it.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer responded to a fan wondering if we would see more single player games on Xbox, Spencer responded: “Yes, I can confirm” more single-player games. Further, “the additions to XGS [Xbox Game Studios] we have a lot of teams that have built strong SP focused games and we want that to continue.”
Phil Spencer refers to the recent acquisitions of studios made by the Xbox division. Those studios include Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, inXile Entertainment, and Obsidian Entertainment. That’s an impressive amount of additions to the XGS portfolio. All these new studios, plus the new AAAA studio The Initiative point to much stronger offerings from Team Xbox this time around when it comes to the games.
Microsoft has slowly but surely built up a few great services with the Xbox One. Namely, the Game Pass service has been a huge success with consumers. Microsoft’s Game Pass provides unlimited access to over 100 high-quality console games for a small monthly fee; think Netflix for games except you can download and play these games offline.
The Series X will also be home to Microsoft’s new cloud service, xCloud. In a recent quarterly report Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted that “xCloud is off to a strong start,” Nadella added, “transforming how games are distributed, played, and viewed, with hundreds of thousands of people participating in initial trials.”
The xCloud scenario on a console makes a ton of sense,” Spencer told IGN Unlocked. “One of the things we’re seeing in xCloud today, in the preview, is we watch people sample games. We see that in Game Pass already, even on console. We call it the ‘hummingbird effect.’ People are just willing to try more games, but obviously you have download times. So on xCloud you definitely get people who are sampling a lot more games, and I think that’s healthy for our industry. I want more different kinds of games played, more creators found, more new favorite games.”
Whilst Sony’s messaging has not been clear when it comes to PS5’s backwards compatibility, Microsoft have kept it sweet and simple. Four generations (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X) games will all be playable on the Series X. Phil Spencer provided more detail in an official blog post:
”Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.”
This also ties in with the new Smart Delivery feature. This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on,” Spencer explains. “We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on.
Whilst we don’t know the exact price of the Series X, many speculate it to be around the $500 mark due to what a sheer powerhouse it is. With Sony’s upcoming PS5 also having pricing issues due to expensive parts, both consoles are expected to come in at around this price. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, this could make the new consoles unaffordable for many, even without the crisis buying a new console is still sometimes unattainable for many gamers.
With the Xbox Series X, however, Microsoft will debut a great new pricing plan with Xbox All Access – an alternative to paying for the console upfront. For a subscription monthly price, gamers will be able to get the new Xbox Series X as well as Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold all for a monthly fee, thus being more accessible for many gamers out there who might otherwise miss out on the new console near launch due to the steep price.