Xbox showcase doubles down on Game Pass, but doesn’t talk exclusives

Last week’s Xbox showcase

Last week, it was anticipated that the Xbox showcase on June 9 would hold significant importance for Microsoft’s gaming division. The smooth and confident presentation was a stark contrast to previous historical missteps by Xbox. While it didn’t have the same impact as past events, it still revealed Microsoft’s immense publishing power, shed light on Xbox’s future, and left questions unanswered.

Indications of Microsoft’s Strategy

The most revealing news surrounding the showcase didn’t come from the event itself. The announcement that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 and Doom: The Dark Ages will be available on Game Pass on release day highlighted Microsoft’s emphasis on the subscription service over Xbox consoles. This signals Microsoft’s focus on Game Pass and their approach to console exclusivity for first-party titles.

Microsoft’s Ambiguous Stance

Reports suggest that Microsoft is open to releasing their games on other platforms, as evidenced by the inclusion of Doom: The Dark Ages on PS5. The lack of clarity on Xbox console exclusivity further emphasizes Microsoft’s flexibility in this regard.

Microsoft is keen to ram home Game Pass’ value to subscribers.
Image: Xbox

Emphasis on Game Pass

With a focus on Game Pass, Microsoft made it clear that the service is paramount. The showcase highlighted that 20 out of 30 featured titles will launch directly on Game Pass, showcasing Microsoft’s commitment to the subscription model.

Redefining Exclusivity

Microsoft’s showcase demonstrated a shift in their approach to exclusivity, with major titles like Call of Duty, Doom, Gears of War, and more slated to debut on Game Pass upon release. The emphasis on Game Pass implies a broader accessibility to Microsoft’s titles.

Microsoft’s Future Focus

While Microsoft’s position as a leading gaming company was solidified with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the showcase emphasized their focus on publishing and subscription services over hardware. Quality games spanning famous franchises were showcased, positioning Microsoft as a major player in the industry.

An image of a white all-digital Xbox Series X, a white Series S with 1 TB of storage and a black Series X with 2 TB of storage
New Xbox console variants with more storage were announced with little fanfare.
Image: Xbox

Looking Ahead

While Microsoft is gearing up for the next generation of consoles and expanding hardware options, the focus remains on publishing and subscriptions. The showcase highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to delivering quality games and maintaining their position as a major player in the gaming industry.