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Every key detail from Xbox’s business update: new console, multiplatform games, and more

Xbox's logo used during the Extended Games Showcase
Microsoft / .

Microsoft just released the latest episode of the Official Xbox Podcast, and it contained lots of crucial details on the future of Xbox. Microsoft addressed everything from how many games it will make multiplatform to the arrival of Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Game Pass to future Xbox hardware.

If you don’t want to listen to the full 23-minute podcast and want more details than what’s shared in the Xbox Wire post about the discussion, here’s a quick rundown of the biggest points made during the episode.

Four Xbox games are going multiplatform

To kick things off, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, addressed the multiplatform Xbox game rumors. “We made the decision that we’re going to take four games to the other consoles. Just four games, not a change to our kind of fundamental exclusive strategy,” he said. “We’re making these decisions for some specific reasons. We make every decision with the long-term health of Xbox in mind, and long-term health of Xbox means a growing platform, our games performing, building the best platform for creators, reaching as many players as we can.”

Spencer declined to specify which games are going multiplatform, but implied it’s two community-driven titles and two smaller games — and that Starfield and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle aren’t included.

Game Pass isn’t coming to PS5 or Switch

While praising the strengths of Xbox Game Pass as a service, President of Game Content and Studios Matt Booty reassured Xbox players that Game Pass will stay an Xbox-exclusive service on console. “I think that we at first party can come back to some core principles,” Booty explained. “First, that all of our games will be on the Xbox platform. Second, all of our games will go into Game Pass on day one. And third, we know that Game Pass will only be available on Xbox.” Booty also emphasized the importance of maintaining crossplay and cross-save on Xbox games that do go multiplatform.

Diablo IV is coming to Xbox Game Pass next month

Speaking of Xbox Game Pass, President of Xbox Sarah Bond went on to confirm that Activision Blizzard games will start coming to the service. The first one will be Diablo IV, which will be added on March 28. “It’s all part of our commitment to make Xbox, the Xbox experience, and the games that we build as widely available as possible,” Bond said.

Diablo 4 Lilith
Blizzard Entertainment

Spencer wants Xbox to last for the next 20 years

Recent rumors got some people worried about the Xbox brand or hardware potentially going away. Spencer explained that he does not want that to be the case. “Many people know I’ve been on Xbox for over 20 years, and I want to make sure Xbox is in the best position for the next 20 years,” he said. “Our hardware is a critical component of that. The absolute best experience someone has on Xbox is hardware that our team builds and that people play on.”

Spencer addresses Xbox layoffs

While explaining Microsoft’s reasoning for this strategy shifting for Xbox, Spencer finally addressed layoffs, which have been rampant in the game industry in the past year and happened at Microsoft last month.

“What happens when an industry doesn’t grow? You end up with job eliminations, which we had. We had even our own hard decisions to make about building a sustainable business for ourselves, but in no way were we alone in that. When you think about a healthy industry, I want players who believe that they will find the best games on the platforms that they love. I want people who invest their careers in working here to feel like this is a place that they can be successful, and that is really down to being part of an industry that is growing.”

Xbox is seeing all-time-high user counts

Somewhat contradicting Spencer’s point about the lack of industry growth, Bond later shared that Xbox is seeing the highest number of users ever across several platforms. “We’re at the highest level of users on console, the highest level of users on PC, the highest level of users on cloud ever. We have double-digit growth rate on PC and cloud, places where we’re enabling creators to actually reach new players beyond the console ecosystem.”

The Xbox Series X and S compared.

Xbox is working on a next-gen platform

Bond affirmed that Microsoft and Xbox are not leaving the hardware game during the podcast. “There’s some exciting stuff coming out in hardware that we’re going to share this holiday, and we’re also invested in the next-generation road map,” Bond said. “What we’re really focused on there is delivering the largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation, which makes it better for players and better for creators and the visions that they’re building.”

Game compatibility is important to Xbox

When asked about the preservation of digital content anid the rise of Xbox’s subscription services and cloud initiatives, Spencer praised Microsoft’s history of keeping up software compatibility with Windows over several decades and said he hopes to establish something similar with Xbox. He says that compatibility, maintaining player saves, and keeping cloud services up is all important, even going forward. “When we look at future hardware generations and what we’re going to support, making sure that we respect … the investments that people have made in Xbox going forward is fundamental.”

More than 10 Xbox first-party releases are coming in 2024

As the podcast concluded, Booty teased that there are “more than 10 releases” from Xbox first-party studios happening this year across all platforms. He specifically named Diablo IV: Vessel of Hatred, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Avowed, Ara: History Untold, and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, leaving at least five of these new releases a mystery.

An Xbox showcase is coming this June

Building off the teaser of more than 10 third-party releases, Booty also confirmed that Microsoft will be holding yet another major showcase this year. “There’s more in development, which I think we’re going to be able to share more about at our June showcase coming up pretty soon, with podcast host and Xbox Head of Premier Broadcasts Tina Amini ending the discussion by joking that she needs to get to work on making that show.

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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