As the console war continues to wage on into a new era of next-gen gaming, there needs to be some defining, individualistic traits that make both Sony and Microsoft stand out in their own way. In the case of the latter, that’d be the Smart Delivery service – among other things – that promises a one-time purchase of games in order to play the best available versions for whichever Xbox console that owners have.
Now, it seems like there might be some discrepancies present. The Xbox Series X Games Showcase promises plenty of next-gen games to come, but about half of them won’t be heading to the Xbox One, which proves contradictory to a statement made by head honcho Phil Spencer a week ago.
Taking to the official Xbox blog, the man gave the following affirmation, “You won’t be forced into the next generation. 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.”
What this essentially means is that players without Xbox Series X will still be able to play next-gen games on current-gen consoles, such that an inclusive player base can be cultivated. In fact, Spencer even went as far as to say that the company’s very own in-house, first-party titles will put owners off buying the console for two years.
Yet, the Xbox Series X showcase suggests otherwise. Forza Motorsport, Fable, Avowed, Everwild, and State of Decay 3 were all announced for Xbox Series X, with no information on Xbox One and Smart Delivery support. When prodded further by The Verge on the the lack of Xbox One functionality, Microsoft gave a non-response, “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 not a clear “yes” or “no” answer, which certainly casts doubts on the validity and extent of the company’s promise regarding full backward compatibility. Perhaps Microsoft will address concerns with an official statement before the console launches, but until then, it’d be better to assume that not all first-party titles can boast Xbox One support. A pity, that.