Microsoft is teasing forward compatibility as their strategy going into the future
The end of console generations is just a matter of time.
While much of the talk surrounding Microsoft's games department is centered on Xbox One X, there's something to be said for what the company will do going forward. At an Xbox One X even in London, Senior Global Marketing Director, Albert Penello told MCVUK that Microsoft is focused on "compatibility, and that's not just backwards compatibility," he said.
"I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that we care a lot about compatibility and in this day and age people have shifted to caring more about their community and their apps, than caring about the piece of hardware that they're on, and we have just moved with that."
Penello correlates this strategy to how mobile devices roll out new hardware on a more frequent basis, but he was careful not to suggest that new consoles would be an annual thing from Microsoft.
"I'm certainly not an advocate of 'we're going to do a new console every year', but consumers are more used to this idea that they can buy devices with different performance levels, when a new generation of hardware comes out, their old stuff still works."
Penello also references the Windows platform, and how it has been backwards compatible pretty much since the beginning. We don't see new operating systems come out on a yearly basis, and god help us all if they did. But rather rolling out one major update every 3-4 years and supporting it with updates, rather than 5-7 years is more likely the direction we are heading very soon.
Certainly, allowing the more frugal segments of the player bases to hold on to their old stuff for longer amounts of time is undoubtedly a more consumer-friendly approach. Not to mention the unfortunate truth that console generations lock away games behind a wall unless of course, you're willing to buy HD Remasters at full price or digital shop re-releases. Putting value back into the games we buy on Day 1 is nothing but a good move.
The Xbox One X releases on November 7th, 2017.