While exclusive games have traditionally been key to driving console sales, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty said in January that the company is keen to avoid alienating Xbox One owners by releasing platform exclusive titles during the new console’s early days.
“You won’t be forced into the next generation,” he said. “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.”
The approach is unique in the console space and in stark contrast to the strategy of rival PlayStation, which has committed to releasing games that are only possible on its more advanced PlayStation 5.
Spencer’s blog also touched on plans for backward compatibility when Xbox Series X launches during the 2020 holiday season.
“It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console,” he said.
“And because of the unprecedented power of Xbox Series X, most of your favorite games will load faster and look and perform many times better on the new console.”
Microsoft said in May that Xbox Series X already plays 1,000s of games thanks to its advanced backwards compatibility support.
In a follow-up statement, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Hideaki Nishino said the company believes “the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5”, although he didn’t say when that might be.
“We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions,” Nishino added.