Microsoft has announced that it is pivoting full-time to developing for the current-gen Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S. This means that the Xbox One, their home console which first launched back in 2013, will not see any new first-party games made for it.
In an interview with Axios, Xbox game studio chief Matt Booty acknowledges that Microsoft has “moved on” from developing for the Xbox One. This means all new games will be made exclusively for the 9th generation of consoles. Ongoing development and maintenance for last-generation games such as Minecraft will continue until further notice, of course.
Notably, despite halting development for games on the decade-old Xbox One, Microsoft is still committed to developing for the Xbox Series S, despite some concerns that its underpowered nature may hold games back as much as developing for last-gen consoles. “Is it more work? Sure,” Booty says in the interview. However, he maintains that developers have been able to squeeze a lot of performance out of the Series S console. “They can plan better, knowing where some of the sharp corners are.” He also acknowledges that those who own Xbox One consoles can still play current-gen games via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
The writing has been on the wall for the 8th generation of consoles for a while. Having lasted an unusually long period, with an equally unusually long transition period between the last and current generations of consoles, at some point development had to shift to the modern platforms to make the most of the new technology. This can be seen with how some games which released on the old consoles are getting DLC exclusive to the new platforms, such as Horizon Forbidden West and Cyberpunk 2077.
Particularly with the Xbox One only achieving about half the sales of the PS4 by Microsoft’s own admission, moving focus away from it towards their current console products is probably a wise move. While Xbox One owners will be fine for a while getting by with Xbox Cloud Gaming, if you were looking for a reason to consider a new console, this might be it.