The next Xbox promises “biggest ever” technological leap, four exclusive games coming to other platforms


Something to look forward to: Recent leaks and rumors about Microsoft’s roadmap for Xbox games have sparked heated speculation, prompting the company to hasten its plans to discuss its evolving strategy. On Thursday, Microsoft reaffirmed its commitment to Xbox hardware and also shared its intention to expand its gaming business beyond just the console.

Microsoft is not going third-party or exiting the hardware business, contrary to what some observers feared. While some of the company’s content will be made available on non-Microsoft platforms, the company has now confirmed that new Xbox consoles are in development.

In a special edition of the official Xbox podcast (above), Xbox head Phil Spencer said that four previously-exclusive Xbox games will be ported to other platforms soon. Microsoft will reveal the names of these four titles in a new Developer Direct in June. Spencer confirmed that the selection includes two live-service games and two “smaller” titles, all of which are over a year old.

Based on previous reports, it’s reasonable to speculate that Hi-Fi Rush, Sea of Thieves, Grounded, and Pentiment will soon be available on PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. The possibility of releasing these titles on Apple systems has not been ruled out.

In the podcast and a subsequent interview, Spencer emphasized that the multiplatform releases are a one-time experiment and do not indicate a shift in policy. Currently, Microsoft does not intend to release Starfield or Indiana Jones and the Great Circle on non-Microsoft platforms, but Spencer maintains a “never say never” attitude.

Meanwhile, Diablo IV will be the first Activision Blizzard title available on Game Pass starting March 28, with more titles to follow.

Microsoft also announced that its subscription service has reached 34 million subscribers, marking a 36-percent increase from the 25 million reported in 2022. This slow growth is likely one reason why Microsoft is interested in exploring how some of its first-party games perform on competing consoles.

While Spencer made no specific hardware-related announcements, he confirmed that Microsoft is developing a next generation Xbox console that he claims will represent the largest technical leap in a hardware generation. Moreover, it will support cross-compatibility with PCs and backward compatibility with previous Xbox systems.

Interestingly, Spencer also noted a desire to offer hardware that attracts users based on its uniqueness. Earlier reports suggest this could hint at plans for a handheld system. At the very least, the Xbox chief confirmed plans to improve the Windows experience on portable hardware. Spencer noted how using devices like the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go can be challenging because Windows wasn’t designed around a controller and an 8-inch screen, and Microsoft is working to address this.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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