Image for article titled Next-Gen Xbox Aims To Be 'The Largest Technical Leap You've Ever Seen'

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On Thursday, the leadership of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming division shared an update on their plans for the platform going forward. And, surprise! It wasn’t exactly the earth-shattering paradigm shift the internet doomsayers had predicted. Yes, some Xbox games will be going multiplatform—we don’t know exactly which ones yet. Big-ticket tentpoles like Starfield and Indiana Jones definitely will not. But the biggest surprise of the 22-minute chat between Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, Matt Booty, and Tina Amini came when the conversation turned to hardware.

Despite ongoing rumors that Microsoft is getting out of gaming hardware, the execs say that definitely isn’t the case. In a blog posted to Xbox Wire the same time as the podcast dropped, Xbox’s Jeff Rubenstein wrote, “Xbox consoles will continue to provide a flagship experience for players; it’s where you get the best value and convenience, it’s where Game Pass provides unprecedented access to an ever-evolving library of games. To be clear: Game Pass will continue to be only available on Xbox platforms.”

So, no, Xbox isn’t planning to stop making consoles anytime soon. In fact, the team is cooking up some major hardware announcements for the upcoming holiday season. And, like their rivals over at Sony, they’re also pivoting focus to next-gen hardware.

“There’s exciting stuff coming out in hardware we’re going to share this holiday,” said Sarah Bond. “We’re also invested in the next-generation roadmap. What we’re really focused on there is delivering the largest technical leap you’ve ever seen in a hardware generation.”

You can check out the updates on the Xbox business podcast episode in full below. The hardware discussion, though brief, starts at the 17:41 timestamp.

Updates on the Xbox Business | Official Xbox Podcast

Toward the bottom of the February 15 Xbox Wire post, it says that being a part of the community means “a robust and innovative multi-year hardware roadmap.” That may explain why Phil Spencer’s been liking all those fan tweets about handhelds lately. Slightly more concerning, though, is the post’s wording in this particular line: “Xbox players should have confidence in building your digital library in the Xbox ecosystem.” (Italics mine.) That lends some credence to recent reports that some retailers are phasing out physical copies of Xbox games, and that future iterations of the Series X console will be digital-only.



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