Console Wars

Xbox Series X wants to be a better boyfriend to gamers than PS5 or Switch

It's all about you, baby.

In a new post titled "You Are the Future of Gaming" on Xbox Wire, Phil Spencer outlines Microsoft's commitment to a consumer-friendly approach to next-gen games with the Xbox Series X. The standout news here is that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get Project xCloud, Microsoft's cloud gaming service, for no additional fee starting in September. But let's not allow that admittedly rad perk to overshadow the rest of the post, which is essentially a loving plea to gamers that says, "Let someone treat you right for once. Let Xbox be that someone."

First things first: Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to play Series X games on their phone or tablet anywhere with a decent wi-fi network. "Your games are no longer locked to the living room," Spencer's post reads.

Yes boys and girls, the subtext here is you can play Halo: Infinite on your phone while you're on the toilet. Look sharp, Google Stadia. The reaper's about to come a-reaping.

Here's a bit more of what Spencer had to say about the Game Pass / xCloud mashup:

With cloud gaming in Game Pass Ultimate, you will be able to play over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles on your phone or tablet. And because Xbox Live connects all across devices, you can play along with the nearly 100 million Xbox Live players around the world. So when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can play together and immerse yourselves in the Halo universe as Master Chief—anywhere you go and across devices.

Not only would an ideal boyfriend encourage you to be Your Best Self by regularly gaming on the toilet, Spencer's making a pretty compelling argument here that gamers have been settling for less for far too long. In the post, he doubles down on Xbox's pledge to encourage a gentle approach to hardware upgrades via the Smart Delivery feature and no longer forcing players to buy the same games twice. (Hint hint, Nintendo and Sony.) Xbox One peripherals will also be fully compatible with Series X, minimizing unwelcome add-on costs when purchasing a new console.

"You always have the best available version of supported games on whatever Xbox console you are playing on, at no additional cost," the post reads.

The distinctive top of the Series X.


Spencer continues the sweet talk when the topic turns to backward compatibility. How many tearful nights have you spent waiting by the phone, praying for Reggie to call with that Mother 3 release date or an Earthbound port announcement? Well, it's time for Stella to get her groove back.

You will be able to play four generations of games on Xbox Series X on day one. That makes it the largest launch lineup for any new console ever, with thousands of games to play. Our backward compatibility engineers have spent years devising innovative ways for modern, next-gen technology to make the games library you’re building today even better, at no additional cost and with no work from developers.

I realize I'm stretching this boyfriend metaphor to its absolute limit, but it's awfully hard to argue against when the post kicks off with: "Our vision has one hero at the heart of it all: You. Today, I want to share our commitments to you." One can almost imagine Boyz II Men purring these words in front of a cavernous fireplace.

But like most cheesy expressions of love, this is actually a good thing. We deserve this.

Xbox Series X launches in late 2020.

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