After the announcement of the new console of Microsoft products, Xbox Series X, new rumors and news have surfaced en masse over the past few weeks. The hardware was in fact shown to the The Game Awards 2019, as Microsoft decided to play ahead of PlayStation 5 - taking a major initiative in the field of communication - and providing the public with extremely vital details. We talked about everything we know about Xbox Series X in a specific article, and the particular technology Variable Rate Shading in this targeted in-depth text, which you can access through the following link.
However, it is not the purely technical sides that we want to deepen today, because a very recent news from Microsoft has managed to upset the thinking of the market and certainly deserves to be clarified. As we have in fact reported in this news, Xbox Series X will not present any exclusive in its first year of life, and perhaps this particular situation could even extend until the next. Although it appears extremely black and catastrophic, this particular choice has been particularly misunderstood in the various discussions, as it presents some interesting nuances and some small gems that must undoubtedly be specified: we are here for this!
What's up with Xbox Series X?
Let's first clarify the basis of this controversial situation: it is not true that they will not be released first-party Microsoft for two years after the arrival of the Xbox Series X. Much more simply, all the titles of the software houses that make up the Xbox Game Studios will produce games that - in addition to landing on PC - will not simply stop at Next-Gen. It also seems that all current versions of Xbox One are included in this reasoning, and that consequently Xbox One X will certainly not be the only one to be able to support titles designed for the next generation. However this applies approximately to the first two birthdays of the Xbox Series X, it could happen that with the titles to come some games manage to arrive on the current most powerful console in the world, taking advantage of every ounce of its currently enviable power, but that they have to give up the other versions of Xbox One.
Simply summarizing the concept, Microsoft will develop first-party titles over the next few years that will not be limited to Xbox Series X and the world of PC gaming. In any case, this certainly does not mean that anyone who currently owns an Xbox One family console can rest assured. In fact, the Redmond house wants to soften the change of generations with all its possible means, but does not deny that this will sooner or later become necessary and will definitely happen. If for some users this news has turned out to be a godsend, in the opinion of others the catastrophe has already been foretold and Microsoft will undoubtedly fail in the next generation. Putting aside the omens and pessimism it is instead the case to make a more accurate analysis, considering all the facets that make up this enormous general picture.
Soften the generations
Anyone who is not an extremely young gamer undoubtedly remembers the beginning of the current videogame generation with ease. Although the new hardware had arrived in the homes of many, the same was unfortunately not affirmable from a software point of view. Some titles had already landed on the Next-Gen back then, but we're talking about games that didn't turn out to be as memorable as the ones we've seen in recent years, and in some cases they couldn't hold a candle to the previous generation either.
Microsoft's goal? Make sure this situation doesn't happen again with Xbox Series X. However it is undoubtedly a rather costly and time-consuming maneuver, as developers will have to work for titles that can run on two very different platforms for the issue of power. It is also necessary that the launch works of the Next-Gen are able to show the muscles of the new hardware, between Ray Tracing and a better graphics sector, and compatibility will probably be made possible thanks to important technical downgrades.
The situation is also posed in the opposite direction, however, as Xbox Series X will be 100% backward compatible with previous Microsoft generations, and with excellent probability it will also be able to improve the general performance of old titles. Let's talk about the probables 60 frames per second for each work and new ones SSD, which could very likely reset loading times and improve every experience. In this way, those who will grab the Next-Gen in its first life cycle will still be able to have an extremely varied and expanded stock of titles in front of them, and at the same time Microsoft will guarantee ready-made remastered, which will therefore not require further work for each single video game.
The risk of Xbox Series X failure
Even if the positives listed above are far from indifferent, this does not mean that Microsoft is taking a huge leap in the dark nowadays. Even though the Redmond house sees a particularly bright light at the end of the tunnel, that doesn't mean the situation will end exactly as expected. Unpleasant inconveniences could start to appear, as these choices are highly risky and at the same time unpredictable.
First of all, we are dealing with a possible risk linked to the exclusives that we will see on both generations, which makes us ask a question: how will Next-Gen titles run on the Xbox One family? As already mentioned above, it could be a graphic downgrade, but the developers would have the possibility to start making substantial - and not identifiable by consumers - cuts already on the new generation, to then favor their own porting work.
It must also be considered that some solutions can only be implemented with the new hardware, and as long as the Xbox One family is still in circulation they will not be able to be cleared through customs. We are talking, for example, of graphic compartments patented exclusively to work with Ray Tracing, which would show themselves magnificent with the latter and horrendous without it, but also of important solutions related to game design. The new SSDs could guarantee developers the ability to create highly dynamic scenarios, which would change during construction at great speed and would allow an instant alternation of atmospheres and situations.
Last, but certainly not least, we must consider that on a communicative level, Microsoft is strongly diminishing the value of Xbox Series X even before its release. If PlayStation 5 will contain titles compatible only with the latter, Sony users will undoubtedly be pushed to immediately make the generational change. Considering a hardware backward compatibility that the PlayStation division could soon announce through official channels, the ratio of consoles sold between the two houses would end up being overwhelming in Sony's favor. Microsoft is instead allowing those who are already its users not to switch to the Next-Gen. If on the one hand this is a very strong sign of respect, on the other it appears to be a decrease in one's perceived value. Users already in possession of the hardware currently on the market will make a choice more easily, and this will probably not be in favor of the Redmond house. In this case it is also necessary to consider that this situation falls within the policies of Microsoft, which is particularly consistent in this regard.
Absolute consistency in Microsoft's policy
Already in the current generation, Microsoft has shown that it cares about software more than hardware, and to give extreme precedence to the sale of video games and services - on various platforms, including non-proprietary ones - over consoles. This has in fact managed to propose very interesting offers for consumers, fromXbox Game Pass to the upcoming Project Xcloud, but it has been crushed to say the least by the numbers that Sony PlayStation has instead secured.
Between doubts and hopes, we just have to wait for more information on the next generation. Will Microsoft be the winner with its ideas on the market or will it end up being suppressed again by the extreme power that its counterpart has on the market? The Redmond house is actually much more economically powerful than Sony, and a failure of the Xbox division would not be completely tragic after all compared to what it would end up being for PlayStation.