Xbox Series X exclusives will be cross-gen for a year

Yolanda Curtis
January 12, 2020

Booty's confirmation of the full Xbox first-party library's compatibility with Xbox Series X isn't the end of cross-compatibility.

"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", revealed Head of Xbox Game Studio' Matt Booty to outlet MCV. It's a decision made in accordance with the company's policy that recent Xbox One customers should feel they've made a good investment even before the launch of the new generation.

That doesn't mean the console won't be launching without big games. 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. Microsoft is looking at Halo: Infinite to fill that void for Xbox Series X, despite the fact it's also playable on Xbox One. 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. While there are cross-gen games that are usually released within the first two years of a console launch, there are also next-gene exclusive games that are released to incentivize the early adoption of new hardware.

"Make sure that we hold the bar high on quality, and that we're releasing games that we can be proud of and that the fans can be proud of as Xbox exclusives". There's still a lot we don't know about the new console, but Microsoft will undoubtedly be telling us more as we move through 2020, so stay tuned. So for example, we announced Everwild, a new IP from Rare; that is a second team that we're spinning up under Louise O'Connor's leadership and creative direction, that will be a second team that exists in parallel to the team at Rare that's already working on Sea of Thieves and will continue to work on that game.

But here's the rub: if Microsoft is going to wait that long to give us Xbox exclusives, they'd better be some fire exclusives.

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