Iterating on the Xbox One allowed Microsoft to solidify its vision for the Xbox Series X, the next-generation console revealed by Phil Spencer at The Game Awards. Speaking to GameSpot, Spencer recalled a showcase in 2016, when he indicated that the console could become upgradable and how that was originally one piece of a larger Xbox Series X picture.
“What was that the showcase event we did here like four years ago down in San Francisco where I went on my confusing rant about hardware upgrades?” he said in our interview. “We were working on both Xbox One S and Xbox One X, I don’t think we had announced either one at the time. One of the stepping stones for us getting here [to Xbox Series X] was Xbox One X, a box that was 100% compatible with Xbox One S but faster.
“We created Xbox One S, created Xbox One X, took a lot of feedback from fans, tried to make that feedback loop from both customers and developers pretty critical to who we are, and that’s been a pretty important part of our journey and we said we want to make that a core foundation of Project Scarlett.”
For Spencer and the Xbox team, the seamless compatibility between Xbox One S and the considerably more powerful Xbox One X speaks to the ethos Microsoft has for its gaming ecosystem, particularly for Xbox Series X.
“This idea that … there’s no boost mode, there’s nothing you need to like query, you can play your Xbox One games on an Xbox One X and they play better … That was a stepping stone in our learning to say, ‘Hey, well, how do we then take games to a new architecture but ensure that we get the benefits of that architecture with the game,'” Spencer said. “Because we didn’t want to slow everything down so that you don’t see all the benefits of what the new hardware gives you.
“I think on Xbox One X today, I can honestly say for almost all of the 360 games that run there, the best place to play them is no longer the Xbox 360. They actually play better on the Xbox One X and I want the same to be true here [with Xbox Series X]. And that kind of [goes] full-circle back to why the name is what it is, because this is the Xbox. This is where your Xbox games play.”
Microsoft has not yet announced when Xbox Series X will launch other than Holiday 2020, but it did say that it expects to have an exciting E3 2020. You may be wondering why it chose to reveal the new console at The Game Awards, and Spencer discussed this, along with other things, in our interview. Make sure to read our full exclusive Xbox Series X feature for more on the console and what Xbox has in store for us in the future.