We are only a few weeks away from the launch of next-gen consoles. People interested in the future of the market may also be interested in a conversation that Kotaku conducted with Phil Spencer, head of Xbox department at Microsoft.
Acquisition of Bethesda Softworks and future of its games
One of the most important events of September in the gaming industry was the purchase of ZeniMax Media Inc., the owners of Bethesda Softworks, by Microsoft. The transaction amounted to 7.5 billion dollars, so many people are asking themselves whether the games of the acquired developers will be coming to PS5.
Spencer avoids clear declarations. He said that Microsoft does not have to release The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation 5 to break even, but he stressed that the purpose of the acquisition was not to restrict the offer to owners of other systems. The decision about the target platforms will be made for each game separately.
It's worth noting that after the acquisition of Mojang, Microsoft is still developing Minecraft on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. The company is therefore not obsessed with exclusivity. Microsoft has also confirmed that the previously signed exclusivity agreements with Sony for Bethesda's game will be honored.
In other words, it is currently unclear what decisions Microsoft will take in the long term. On the one hand, exclusive games have their place and, for example, there is no chance that Halo Infinite will be released on PS5. On the other hand, releasing e.g. The Elder Scrolls VI on Sony's console would be very profitable. So it's possible that Bethesda own games will be available on PlayStation 5, while slightly smaller titles, developed by teams such as Arkane (including Dishonored and Prey), id Software (the Doom series) or Machine Games (the Wolfenstein series), will only be available on PC and Xbox Series X/S.
Approach to Nintendo Switch
Several Microsoft games have been released on Nintendo Switch, including Minecraft Dungeons and the Ori series. However, Spencer does not give hope for many future titles of this type. This is due to the fact that the company wants to deliver the entire Xbox ecosystem, including Live and Game Pass subscriptions, and that Nintendo is not interested.
It is worth noting that in the case of Switch, Microsoft itself was the publisher of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition, while in the case of its continuation it was taken care of by another company, which may be a sign of limiting MS' activity on the platform.
No release dates for games expected on Xbox Series X/S
Halo Infinite was supposed to be a launch title for Xbox Series X/S, but the game's release was delayed. Phil Spencer is currently unable to give a new release date. What's more, he couldn't inform when new Fable, Everwild or the console version of Microsoft Flight Simulator will be released.
When asked if it is possible to release the campaign and the multiplayer mode of Halo Infinite on different dates, Spencer said that this will be decided by the developers themselves. So there is a chance that this will happen, but for now, it is difficult to assess how likely it is.
Size of next-gen games
Currently, one of the hottest topics for the players is the ever-increasing size of games, especially as new consoles will have relatively small drives. According to the announcement, Xbox Series X will offer about 802 GB of free space. In the case of Xbox Series S, it will be well below 500 GB.
Spencer said that the company is aware of these problems. That's why developers will have the option to create smaller installations on Xbox Series S, without the elements needed only for nicer releases on XSX.
Much will also depend on the developers' own efforts. A good example is Rare's Sea of Thieves, which recently managed to lose 20 GB.
XCloud on Xbox One
Interestingly, Spencer also confirmed that there are plans to make the xCloud service available on Xbox One, which would enable owners of older consoles to play the games on Xbox Series X/S. The XONE version is lower priority than PC and iOS editions, so it is difficult to judge when it could debut.
- Xbox - official website
Last update: 2020-10-17