Xbox announced four next-gen exclusive console games on Thursday and confirmed a fifth and sixth, breaking from its recent promotion of a cross-gen release strategy.
Obsidian’s Avowed, Playground’s Fable, Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport, Undead Labs‘ State of Decay 3, Ninja Theory‘s Hellblade 2 and Rare’s Everwild were all confirmed as Xbox Series X console exclusives during the company’s Games Showcase.
While the trailer for Halo Infinite listed Xbox One among the platforms it will be available on, trailers for the six games listed above seemingly confirmed the only console they’ll be released for is Xbox Series X.
Until now Microsoft has heavily promoted a cross-generational release strategy for its games, with all first-party Xbox titles for the next couple of years said to be planned as Xbox One and Xbox Series X releases.
The approach is unique in the console space and in contrast to the strategy of rival PlayStation, which has committed to releasing games that are only possible on its more advanced PlayStation 5.
Earlier this month, Xbox boss Spencer suggested the strategy would continue for a number of years. This may suggest that the games announced on Thursday – of all which appeared to be in early states of development – could be some time away from completion.
On Xbox’s first-party release strategy, platform boss Phil Spencer held a frank discussion with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this month in which he said he believed that generational exclusives were “completely counter to what gaming is about.”
He later suggested in a Jeux Video interview that the platform holder would support developers who wanted to release next-gen exclusives.
“The thing you’ll see on the 23rd is we’re giving our studios real creative freedom to build the games that they envision,” he said. “Our game creators want to build great titles that can reach a large audience of players [so] people can experience what they’ve created.
“I think what you hear [Xbox Game Studios head] Matt [Booty] talking about and our creators will say is, we have a vision for every game that we’re building and the vision starts with the player, not the device.
“And 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.”