Microsoft’s approach to next-gen has been a big talking point in the industry. Though recently it’s become clearer that they’re still going to attempt to drive Xbox Series X sales with exclusives, by and large, that’s very clearly going to play second fiddle to a focus on Xbox Game Pass, and a platform-agnostic ecosystem that sees them looking to attract players through subscription services like the aforementioned Game Pass and xCloud. The recent announcement of xCloud coming to Game Pass is one of many, many instances that show just that.
There’s a very interesting discussion to be had about that approach, which is very new to an industry that has always stuck to a traditional generational model – and which competitors Sony seem set on sticking to with the PS5 as well. That was one of many things we spoke about in a recent chat with Francisco Aisa Garcia – former Naughty Dog and Rockstar veteran who’s now working on a secret new game at Microsoft’s youngest first party studio The Initiative – and he had only positive things to say about Microsoft’s approach.
When asked about Microsoft’s commitment to backward compatibility and what his thoughts are on it as a developer and as a player, Garcia told us that with system architectures now working on a standard baseline, backward compatibilty has become much easier. And in terms of that, as well as the larger continuous ecosystems Microsoft are looking to build around Game pass, Garcia feels there’s a lot of value for broader audiences.
“The architectures we are working with now are more standard, so it’s also a lot easier to be backward compatible,” he said. “And in that regard, I’m not just speaking of backward compatibility, I think the overall mission Microsoft has is phenomenal. I love the way they are trying to account for everyone, they are trying to be present through PC, through console, through Game Pass which is absolutely amazing. I have been using it a few months, and I think it’s a great idea, and I am excited to see what’s to come there. And I do think Microsoft is really heading in the direction that fans would want to see companies head in – give us support, allow us to play in the medium we want to play, and support them all. That’s my personal opinion.”
During this interview, Garcia also spoke to us about how much of an impact he feels the raw power of PS5 and Xbox Series X will have on development, and whether or not he feels 8K gaming is something we’ll see more of going forward.
Our full interview with Garcia will go live soon, so stay tuned for that.