2021 has been a golden year for Xbox2021. It’s been a long time approaching, but the reserves Microsoft made way back in 2016 have lastly come to completion this year and Xbox gamers are obtaining the paybacks.
We have seen the influence of Xbox Game Pass in full force in 2021, with disparagingly commended first-party games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite all received on day one on Microsoft’s subscription service.
Xbox Game Pass has also protected frequent indie darlings such as Unpacking and Hades over the course of the year, as well as notable third-party day one releases like Back 4 Blood, Outriders, and MLB The Show 2021, all of which help hammer home that Xbox Game Pass is a must-have add on for any Xbox owners.
Playing the long game
The success of Microsoft may appear like it’s mainly down to Xbox Game Pass and merely having a lineup of great titles this year, then and of course, that’s been a gigantic factor but it’s essentially much more than that. What’s really aided elevate Xbox to the next level is the considered gambles and savings that took place during the initial unbridled years of the Xbox One generation, many of which raised up eyebrows in the gaming community at the time.
- In 2016, Microsoft began by announcing Xbox Play Anywhere, a cross-buy program that lets users buy a game once and play them on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. This was the start of Microsoft’s push to make Xbox and PC gaming more homogenous, something which has now become a reality in 2021.
- Though, the foremost compound for Microsoft’s success came in 2017. Xbox Game Pass was exposed, a subscription service that lets users access hundreds of games for a monthly fee, and the service has grown significantly since its release.
- The major alteration that unquestionably pushed Xbox Game Pass to new heights came in March 2018, when Microsoft proclaimed that all first-party titles would hit the service on day one.
- This started with Sea of Thieves, and Rare’s game would soon be combined by titles such as State of Decay 2, Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Doom Eternal, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps to name but a few. For many, getting admittance to Microsoft’s first-party lineup without help is sufficient to keep their subscription successively.
Xbox and PC combine forces
2019 was the year Xbox Game Pass come to PC and overlapped with the entrance of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a finest tier subscription service that gives gamers admittance to both Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, but also various perks, exclusive discounts, and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Though, the more noteworthy declaration for PC owners came in October 2020. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer exposed that every Xbox title established by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios would also come to PC as well as console. This led various to venture that people wouldn’t buy an Xbox console as the games would all be obtainable on PC moving onward but as Spencer put it at the time: “I trust great games should be able to be played by as many people as possible.”
Nothing but the power of the cloud!
And it’s this impartial opening up the Xbox ecosystem to as many people as probable that Microsoft has seen pay off in 2021. It’s transformed the discussion and direction from how many units of hardware it’s sold, to how many people are playing Xbox games and subscribing to Xbox’s services. For example, Xbox Game Pass had 18 million subscribers in January 2021, a number that you would expect has only continued to increase considerably in the months since.
Eliminating the need for people to own a single box to play the likes of Halo or Sea of Thieves means that enormous player numbers can be accomplished, particularly because of Xbox Cloud Gaming. The mobile market is, to put it informally, an unexpected chance for Microsoft to capitalize on, with billions of players having access to a smartphone. Being able to play a complete library of titles anywhere that has an internet connection is a game-changer.
By permitting gamers to play Xbox games on console, PC, or via the cloud, Forza Horizon 5 was able to attain surprising player numbers over 10 million players in one week which just wouldn’t have been probable if the game was an Xbox Series X/S exclusive.
But what difference did 2021 bring for Xbox fans?
So, Microsoft’s approach is now vibrant for all to see, but that didn’t halt the firm from also accumulating a ton of innovative features to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in 2021. We saw the dashboard go from 1080p to 4K on Xbox Series X, Dolby Vision gaming provision was included, and cloud gaming even came to consoles meaning those who own an Xbox One can play Gen 9 exclusive games like The Medium on their box from 2013.
Microsoft also exposed FPS Boost in 2021, which bounced the frame rate of older titles to 60fps or 120fps and further added over 70 new titles to its backward compatibility program in November. We also a number of Xbox One titles get free Xbox Series X/S optimizations, together with Destiny 2, Doom Eternal, and Hellblade.
Xbox is in a robust spot going into 2022, then, with more energy behind the brand than we have seen since the halcyon days of the Xbox 360. If Microsoft can keep transporting high-quality games and accumulating inventive fresh features, the dark early years of the Xbox One release will shortly feel like a detached memory.
So, what’s your experience with the new Xbox 2021, and what you like to see in the next year, share your thoughts with us in the comment section and keep visiting our website for such the latest news Thanks.