Microsoft has quashed speculation that it might move away from dedicated gaming hardware after the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch on November 10, 2020.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, told Yahoo! Finance (opens in new tab) that the company won’t abandon gaming hardware anytime soon, despite the gaming industry’s ongoing shift to digital and streaming.
"In terms of future hardware, absolutely I think we're going to see more console hardware down the road," said Spencer. "Just like in video, just like in music, it's not that streaming has cut off device innovation. I think we'll continue to see that, and that's absolutely what we're planning for."
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Microsoft’s approach to the next-generation has revolved around creating as many avenues for players to enter the Xbox ecosystem as possible, instead of merely pushing one piece of hardware.
The Xbox Series X is the company’s flagship product, and comes with a premium price tag of $499 / £449 / AU$749. The Xbox Series S, meanwhile, is a more affordable albeit less powerful alternative that’s digital-only and retails for $299 / £249 / $499.
Microsoft has also launched its cloud gaming service on Android, which allows players to stream over 100 games to mobile devices. The service is not yet available on iOS, after Apple claimed it breaches the company’s terms of service.
Tying everything together is Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a monthly subscription service that's seen as the "Netflix of games". Xbox Game Pass grants subscribers access to all of Microsoft’s first-party titles the day they release, and includes hundreds of games from third-party publishers as well as independent studios. The service is also available on PC.
While it’s impossible to predict what the future holds for Xbox, Microsoft recently announced that it has agreed to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. The deal means that all future Bethesda games, such as the long-awaited Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, will launch on Xbox Game Pass and may even become exclusive to Xbox.