First-Party Xbox Series X Games Won’t Be Exclusive For A While, Microsoft Says

First-Party Xbox Series X Games Won’t Be Exclusive For A While, Microsoft Says
Screenshot: Microsoft, <a href="">YouTube</a>

First-party Xbox Series X games won’t be exclusive for at least the first year or two, if a new interview with the head of Xbox Game Studios is to be believed. Speaking to the website MCVUK, Xbox’s Matt Booty confirmed what many have been assuming—that Microsoft’s games will be both forwards and backwards compatible.

“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 the site. “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.”

Microsoft had previously said that at least one Xbox Series X launch title, Halo: Infinite, would be coming to the current-generation Xbox One as well.


This is a big departure from how new console launches have tended to work in the past. When the Xbox One came out in 2013, first-party-published games like Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome didn’t come to Xbox 360, the idea being that people who wanted to play the latest Microsoft games needed the latest Microsoft console.

By moving away from that trend for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is treating its next-gen hardware more like smartphones and PCs. Instead of major platform jumps every five to 10 years, hardware releases are more incremental, with games being both backwards and forwards compatible, at least for a little while.

That’s good news for anyone who can’t afford to upgrade to the newest console right away. Even if some third-party publishers release games exclusively on next-gen hardware, between new Xbox Game Studio games and Game Pass, even people who currently own launch Xbox Ones (like me!) won’t be immediately left behind.


  • This actually seems pretty amazing for consumers. Curious how it will affect their console sales though since I’ve always seen launch games as the reason to upgrade, but if they’re on both consoles it gives us a much longer timeframe to adopt.

    • It’s a very common misconception that Microsoft is going head to head with Sony for console sales. Microsoft are in an entirely different game of which the console plays a part. The reason they modified the XBox OS over time to be basically Windows 10 is for collaborative play with a rather huge PC audience where they dominate. The end game though is streaming content like is what is happening to video. Their Gamepass is a huge aspect of that. Subscription games on any device where they control the backend. That is where the money is at and that is their objective. Google and Apple both see that and are trying to get into that space but Microsoft has the upper hand over everyone this time. This means the non-exclusives is a great decision.

  • I’m liking Microsofts unconventional (from a console sense) approach to this upcoming gen. Be interesting to see how it works out for them.

  • Makes perfect sense really. They don’t want to piss off there user base. They are definitely going for the Apple approach in there hardware. I like it. I’ll be getting the series X day one as game pass and halo will get me over the line. I’ll get a PS5 when god of war 2 comes out.

  • Microsoft what is your freaking problem upgrading to a next generation console only to have cross play games for the next 2 years?!
    You guys are seriously in last place and Sony is spanking it up your arse!
    You guys really are seriously about to head into retirement soon I mean sure you guys are supporting the Xbox One but you guys are seriously struggling with your hardware sales we can’t be having another next generation console so what’s the freaking point?!
    I mean the Google Stadia has already failed but you Microsoft will be the next ones to become total failures Sony is going to kick your arse I’m not kidding Sony is going to kick your arse Microsoft.
    Matt Booty if you’re listening it’s time for head of Xbox’s Phil Spencer to leave the Xbox Studios you guys are seriously drowning with your freaking hardware sales that are already dropping no seriously it’s time for Phil Spencer to retire.

  • So games will be held back by the current gen of console architecture for another 2 years? Wonderful. /sarcasm

  • On face value this may seem like a good thing and theoretically it is but I think in reality it will not.

    Simply put – the games will need to be made for the lowest common denominator. This doesn’t just mean graphics may be hindered but game play too.

    As developers make their game they will have to keep in mind what the lowest console can achieve. Most often this means a cap on models (eg. Number of friendloes and enemies on screen at a time) but can also limit other things such as encounter mechanics.

    All in all, more platforms means reduced game quality as a general rule.

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