Microsoft is combining Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud together in September


For Ultimate members

Microsoft is both coming on really strong when it comes to the next generation, and taking it easy.

What do I mean by that? Well, they’re aggressively pushing new games with all of their studio acquisitions, but are also doubling down on backward compatibility. As described in a new blog post this morning from Phil Spencer, Microsoft reiterates that it doesn’t necessarily want you to upgrade to the next generation of consoles, as first-party games will work on both the Xbox One and Series X for “several years.”

That initiative is getting a little more fleshed out as of this morning, as Microsoft has announced that Xbox Game Pass (their Netflix-esque service for games) and Project xCloud (their cloud gaming initiative) are being combined into one subscription via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which also includes Game Pass on PC). In other words, you get one subscription and you have access to the entire Microsoft ecosystem across multiple devices and day-one access to first-party games.

One thing that won’t be ported over? Kinect. Spencer says that all Kinect games will not be supported going forward. As someone who attended E3 during the Kinect announcement and saw the showfloor bathrooms littered with “try Kinect!” stickers on the mirrors, it’s wild to see it be phased out completely like this.

It’s a smart move for the publisher that was once down-on-their-luck at the start of this generation. They’ve gone from the competitor with the draconian philosophy on the future of gaming to this. With Sony’s backward compatibility and cross-buy system still heavily under wraps, Microsoft is coming out of the gate swinging.

You Are the Future of Gaming [Xbox Wire]