Microsoft has announced that it will no longer produce new games for the Xbox One console, which was launched in 2013. The company said that it will focus on developing games for the newer Xbox Series X|S and PC platforms, as well as cloud gaming services.
The decision comes as Microsoft faces increasing competition from Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft also wants to leverage its Game Pass subscription service, which offers access to hundreds of games for a monthly fee. The company's head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, made the announcement in an interview with Axios.
“We're not making any new games for Xbox One,” Booty said. “We're focused on the future of gaming, and that's on Xbox Series X and S.”
Microsoft said that it will continue to support existing Xbox One games and services, such as backward compatibility, cross-play, and updates. However, it warned that some future games may not run well on the older hardware, or may require streaming from the cloud.
The End of a Mixed Console Generation for Microsoft
The Xbox One was Microsoft's third-generation console, and it sold over 50 million units worldwide. It introduced features such as voice and gesture control, live TV integration, and a redesigned controller. However, it also faced criticism for its high price, mandatory Kinect sensor, and lack of exclusive games.
Microsoft released two upgraded versions of the Xbox One: the Xbox One S in 2016, which added 4K video support and a smaller design; and the Xbox One X in 2017, which boosted the performance and graphics of the console. Both of these models will also stop receiving new games from Microsoft.
The Xbox Series X|S are Microsoft's fourth-generation console, and both launched in November 2020. The new series offers faster loading times, higher frame rates, ray tracing, and backward compatibility with most Xbox One games. It also comes in two variants: the Series X, which is more powerful and has a disc drive; and the Series S, which is cheaper and digital-only.
Microsoft said that it hopes to reach more gamers with its Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which allows users to play games on various devices without downloading or installing them. The service is currently available on Android phones and tablets, Windows PCs, and web browsers.
Microsoft also said that it will continue to invest in its first-party studios, such as Bethesda, Obsidian, and Rare, as well as partner with third-party developers to create exclusive games for its platforms. Some of the upcoming titles include Starfield, Fable, and Forza Motorsport.