If you’re among the people who is waiting to upgrade to the Xbox Series X until after it launches this holiday season, you were probably pretty glad to hear Microsoft say that its first party games like Halo Infinite would be coming to both Xbox One and Xbox Series X for the first few years of the new console’s lifetime. But now that we’ve seen the latest Xbox Games Showcase that focused on first party games and exclusive deals, this statement doesn’t seem as clear cut as it was originally stated.
Kotaku has been keeping track of the situation since yesterday, and the whole thing isn’t entirely clear just yet, but it seems that this cross-gen development philosophy is actually more on a case-by-case basis. The confusion began with several games featured in the presentation only being listed for the Xbox Series X and PC, including: Fable, Avowed, Everwild, Forza Motorsport, and State of Decay 3. However, Avowed specifically had a mention of an Xbox One version on its website, which has since been removed, but still pushed against what appeared during the Xbox showcase stream. Everwild has also had any mention of launching on Xbox One disappear from its site after the stream. It had been understood that Rare’s next game would be playable on the older system as far back as its reveal in December. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
As Kotaku’s report kept going, Head of Xbox game marketing Aaron Greenberg responded to Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo, saying that first party games will be prioritizing Xbox Series X, and any Xbox One launches will be up to developers and determined by what’s best for the game and its online community. This makes sense in some instances like competitive shooters, where a higher framerate on Xbox Series X would put Xbox One players at a disadvantage.
Future 1P titles are developed for Xbox Series X first. Not saying those games won’t ship on Xbox One, only that we are leading with Series X & each studio will decide what's best for their game/community when they launch.
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) July 23, 2020
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Whatever the case may be for any specific game you might be interested in, the implied universal rule Matt Booty hinted at back in January doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Granted, some of these games might not come out in the roughly two year span Booty referred to in his original quote. Fable in particular was just a cinematic trailer meant to establish the series’ return, which doesn’t sound like what you show if your game is far enough along to land in that timeframe.
So if you were trying to decide on whether or not you would need to upgrade to the Xbox Series X sooner rather than later, it’s honestly hard to say. If you’re mainly worried about Halo Infinite, you’re all clear to stick with the Xbox One. Anything else? Looks like we’ll have to wait and see as these games get closer to launch.