Microsoft showed off a number of first-party games during today’s big Xbox showcase, but contrary to previous statements by the company, it’s not clear how many of them will be coming coming to Xbox One in addition to next-gen’s Xbox Series X. Many games shown were listed just for Xbox Series X, not for Xbox One.
“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,” Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, said in an interview with MCVUK last year. Xbox boss Phil Spencer reaffirmed the company’s commitment to making its games playable across both Xbox One and Series X in the near-term in a recent blog post.
“You won’t be forced into the next generation,” Spencer wrote on July 16, just a week before today’s showcase. He continued:
“We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios. That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years—like Halo Infinite—will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.”
But during today’s showcase a number of reveals of upcoming first-party exclusives only featured “Xbox Series X” and “Windows PC” at the tail-end of their footage. Five games in total didn’t have Xbox One listed: Fable, Avowed, and Everwild, Forza Motorsport, and State of Decay 3.
Meanwhile, games like Halo: Infinite, long confirmed to be coming to both Xbox One and Series X, had all three platforms listed.
One possibility is that games like Fable and State of Decay 3 aren’t expected to launch within the loose “two year” window mentioned by Spencer. It’s been three years since the last Forza Motorsport, however, which would seem to suggest it’s closer to release than some of the other games shown.
When asked by Kotaku to clear up the discrepancy, a spokesperson for Microsoft shared only the following vague statement over email:
“Our future Xbox Game Studios titles are being developed natively for Xbox Series X. We will continue to invest in tools for devs to scale across consoles. Which consoles each Studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch.”
It’s a far cry from the “all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” quote about bridging the console generations that Booty gave last year. Instead, it seems to be taking the logic Spencer shared in a July 17 interview with Jeux Video. “If a creator comes to us, and you mentioned a couple of games that were in the May showcase, and says, ‘no, I really want to focus on the next-generation’ with their games, we’re completely open to that, we’re very supportive of that,” he told the French outlet.
In effect, Microsoft’s new line on multi-generational games is that will only be a thing on a case-by-case basis. While Halo: Infinite will be on Xbox One as well as Series X, other big first-party games might not, even if they come out within the next couple of years.