Microsoft confirmed today that the Xbox Series X will go on sale sometime in November, but without its most anticipated exclusive, Halo Infinite — which we coincidentally learned today has been pushed to 2021. In a blog post that was clearly reactionary and meant to keep gamers excited, Microsoft highlighted that more than 50 games are launching this year, "to keep you busy until Chief arrives." Many more titles from previous consoles will be backwards compatible.
The post really just reiterates everything we already know about the Series X, which makes it feel a bit desperate. The console pricing details everyone wants were left out, any we didn't get a specific release date. Microsoft reminds members of Game Pass Ultimate that they will have access to the xCloud streaming service on Android starting September 15th.
Launching with zero exclusives — Microsoft's lineup of first-party exclusives for the Series X is nonexistent, which makes this delay even more inconvenient for the company. Every launch title will be playable on the Xbox One, Android, and PC. Sony, the other hand, has announced a string of exclusives for its PlayStation 5 that will be launching around the same time.
Microsoft is betting big on Game Pass Ultimate to create the Netflix of gaming, where the console itself doesn't matter too much anyway. Gamers will be able to stream over 100 titles on Android, and eventually PC, for a $15 monthly fee. The concept could open up gaming to many more people and end up being quite lucrative if it pays off — but many existing gamers will still want a console to ensure fast load times and low latency. Sony is also building out its own streaming service in PSNow.
Without at least one killer exclusive, it seems like some gamers may lean towards investing in a PlayStation 5 instead, which will have titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Gran Turismo 7. Sony beat out Microsoft in sales for the last generation thanks to its lineup of first-party titles and affordable hardware. But the value of game subscriptions might even things out.