Going into the next console generation, Xbox has led with the promise that its first-party studios won’t lean into next-generation exclusives right away to avoid making players feel pressured to jump from One to Series X.
But, as spotted by The Verge, it looks like that pledge might not cover every first-party release headed to the Xbox Series X over the next few years as previously thought.
During today’s Xbox Game Showcase, a couple of first-party reveals only noted future Xbox Series X and Windows PC releases, leaving out any mention of the current generation Xbox One. Forza Motorsport, Fable, and others lacked an Xbox One mention on their title cards, while other first-party games like Halo Infinite and Psychonauts listed all three of Microsoft’s platforms.
A simple explanation could be that those Xbox Series X and Windows only titles are launching further down the line, and wouldn’t fall under the rough “next couple of years” window Microsoft has previously toted for a cross-gen first-party lineup.
In a vaguely worded statement sent to The Verge on the disconnect, a Microsoft spokesperson said that platform compatibility could vary from game to game, but doesn't explicitly mention its first-party studios.
“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,” reads that statement. “Which consoles each Studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch.”
The issue is made all the more confusing by the fact that Xbox reiterated its plans for cross generation launches as recently as last week, and in no uncertain terms. From last week's Xbox Wire post: "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."