Xbox Series X: Microsoft Exec Breaks Down Next-Gen Priorities


The following era of consoles is sort of right here.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and the lower-priced Series S each hit the market on Nov. 10 (two days earlier than its competitors, Sony’s PlayStation 5, debuts), and the {hardware} big is taking a really completely different strategy to this latest spherical of {hardware} than in previous generations. Microsoft has been touting the Series X’s spectacular specs and efficiency, but in addition within the combine are its unique companies — particularly, Xbox Sport Move, which permits for extra flexibility in Xbox gaming than ever.

Xbox Sport Move, which initially launched in 2017, has turn out to be an integral a part of the Microsoft gaming ecosystem. For $10/month, subscribers get entry to greater than 100 video games on both their Xbox consoles or PC. For $15/month, Sport Move Final gives an upgraded model: subscribers can get entry to all these video games on their Xbox consoles, PCs and, as of not too long ago, their Android gadgets by way of xCloud — and might choose up and play on their save recordsdata on any of these gadgets. A subscriber doesn’t even want an Xbox Series X (or any Xbox in any respect) to make the most of Microsoft’s large subscription play, a technique that may appear counterintuitive because it prepares to unveil its new {hardware}.

Regardless of the flexibleness, nevertheless, Microsoft nonetheless sees console gaming as its signature expertise, Liz Hamren, head of platform engineering and {hardware}, tells Selection. It’s nearly taking that to different locations.

“We nonetheless see the console as our flagship expertise, [and] the lounge as one of the best, most immersive place to play,” she says. “I feel the thought is, we’ve developed this means to ship superb, immersive gaming experiences to of us of their lounge with devoted {hardware} and we need to take that to different locations, and we need to take that Xbox expertise, the core of the Xbox expertise, different locations.”

A part of that technique, she says, is the Xbox Series S, a smaller, paired-down model of the next-generation console that doesn’t embody a disc drive and prices $300. And for the final three years, it’s additionally largely included Sport Move.

Hamren says Microsoft’s priorities haven’t modified, although, for the reason that introduction of Sport Move and xCloud. As she places it, the corporate has largely “gotten increasingly player-centric versus device-centric, and desirous about how we ship video games to gamers wherever they play.”

And it’s not as if the corporate is leaping into the subsequent era on Nov. 10 and leaving its outdated consoles and gaming behind. Quite the opposite, Hamren emphasizes that the backwards compatibility that the Series X gives, permitting customers to play their beforehand owned video games with next-gen graphics, was one thing particularly that followers had requested for.

In a weblog put up in July, Xbox head Phil Spencer famous that gamers “received’t be pressured into the subsequent era,” particularly since Xbox Sport Studios titles within the subsequent couple of years will probably be out there on each the Xbox One and Series X.

“We actually give it some thought extra as an entire Xbox ecosystem, not only a arduous transition from one era to the subsequent,” Hamren says. “We’ve seen plenty of demand for next-generation consoles. That mentioned, individuals will improve once they’re prepared.”

Because it embarks on the subsequent era (and as gaming has turn out to be increasingly mainstream), Hamren says Xbox is concentrated on three elements: “efficiency, video games and your neighborhood.”

“I feel that we simply proceed to have a look at what our gamers care about, and it’s efficiency, it’s video games, and it’s taking part in with their pals,” she says. “As we proceed to make investments… we’re all the time form of maintaining that in thoughts.”


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