Microsoft has convinced me completely: I don’t need to buy an Xbox Series X. Games don’t seem “next-gen” enough. There aren’t enough titles that I really want to play. Yesterday the company announced its flagship game, Infinite halo, won’t even arrive until 2021. Additionally, almost all of Microsoft’s key games are also coming to Windows PCs, and some may even make it to the PS5. And while I slyly suspect that Microsoft is breaking a big promise by not bringing certain Xbox Series X games to the Xbox One, another possibility is that many of the top reasons to buy a new Xbox won’t be available until long after its release. November launch.
But oddly enough, I don’t think Microsoft will be mad at me for skipping this generation’s Xbox. Society will be too busy laughing all the way to the bank.
Of the 18 full games that appeared in Microsoft’s Xbox Games Storefront on July 23, all but one – CrossfireX – are designed to work on Windows PCs. Surprisingly, this PC slate includes the ultimate application from Microsoft: Halo. It’s the game that arguably sold the world on the original Xbox, a franchise that has since been a mainstay of the Xbox and one of the biggest middle fingers Microsoft has ever given Steve Jobs of. Apple. (Remember when jobs were introduced Halo?)
Now, Infinite halo is coming to Windows PCs, and it looks like it’s going to be a first class citizen there. “A team dedicated to 343 focuses on warranty Infinite halo offers a top-notch experience optimized for the PC platform, ”writes developer 343 Industries, adding that“ special PC features ”are underway, possibly including ray tracing. Microsoft won’t even require you to download it from the Windows Store; you will be able to buy it on Steam. After going through the mess that Games for Windows Live was and Microsoft’s repeated failed attempts to push the Windows Store, I still can’t believe I can actually write these words.
And while a first look at Infinite halo May not have blown us away with its graphic fidelity (hey, Craig), this is a must buy for people like me. I adored l’original Halo: Evolved Combat. I played it on Xbox. I bought it on PC. I beat him on Legendary. His the reason I can’t agree that The Duke was a terrible gamepad – the flashlight and grenade buttons were in the right places.
This tweet sums up my feelings about the Infinite halo reveal:
Yesterday I felt like I was transported back in time when I was a kid and was so excited for a new @Halo game. It was awesome.
Hope I never lose this feeling pic.twitter.com/XzYmVGJFDo
– (@GoldenboyFTW) July 24, 2020
All this to say that I will almost certainly pay Microsoft $ 60 to play this game – if not more. After all, Infinite halo is presented as a destin– unique game that will evolve over time, the one that will represent “the next ten years for Halo,»Instead of continuing with numbered suites. And you better believe Microsoft is hoping that means a continuous revenue stream.
Ok so i buy Infinite halo. Let’s say it costs $ 60, yes? Now let’s compare that $ 60 to what I’ve spent on Microsoft games over the past six years since the Xbox One released.
Oh that’s right, I did not buy an Xbox One. The last Microsoft game I bought was for the Xbox 360; When Sony started backing must-have exclusives and Microsoft couldn’t match them, I bought a PS4 instead. I spent $ 0 on Xbox this last generation of console – which means that if I bought a single “Xbox Series X” game, I would have instantly given Microsoft more money than I have since. many years.
And Microsoft won’t even have to sell me a box to make those dollars, which is handy considering that brand new game consoles often come with very slim margins. They do it because they know that you are more likely to buy games for the box that already made a hole in your wallet and filled a hole in your entertainment center. But if enough people already own gaming PCs or previous Xbox One’s – especially in an age when true console exclusives are scarce anyway – why not make some easy money with these people?
(I’ll be curious if Sony does the same. It has already taken the first step with a PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn, one of his finest PS4 exclusives, and other games previously exclusive to PS4 have also made their way to Steam.)
In addition, Microsoft now has other ways to get players locked out. Instead of spending $ 60 for a single copy of Infinite haloI might well choose to pay $ 15 per month for Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate, which always seems like a better deal. Yes, as a PC gamer I had no way to pay for the old Xbox Live Gold to get the online multiplayer that I used to have for free. But now that a subscription purchases access to over 100 PC games – not just the returning catalog, but new proprietary Microsoft games on launch day – and will allow me to play them on my Android phone with xCloud as well, I will definitely give this a look.
Heck, Microsoft is even experimenting with PC-first games like Gear tactics and Microsoft Flight Simulator now. Flight simulator has generally been a Windows franchise, but this one is coming to Xbox. And yet, the PC is still the first. Both will also be part of the Game Pass.
As my colleague Tom Warren says, Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s true next-gen Xbox. This is the only clear message Microsoft sent during the same 57 minute presentation that convinced me not to buy the actual Xbox.
What if I spend even a dollar on the Xbox Game Pass month-long trial just to play Halo at launch, that’s a dollar more than I’ve spent on Microsoft games in years. I wonder how many other potential Microsoft players can say the same thing.