That makes sense: While Sony is planning to do so produce a million more PS4s before the end of 2022 as a backup PS5 replenishment remains a serious struggle that Microsoft seems to have Xbox Series S more readily available than its flagship console. And the less powerful machine is still better than last-gen consoles.
As such, the official end of the Xbox One has finally come, and that makes me reflect on the console’s lifespan, which spanned roughly seven years. It may not have sold the heady 85.8 million units of the Xbox 360, but 48.6 million consoles sold is nothing to scoff at. And the Xbox One left a legacy.
Xbox One missed the spot (at first)
Things weren’t so rosy when the Xbox One was first revealed in May 2013. After the tremendous success of the Xbox 360the hype surrounding the Xbox One was huge. But when Microsoft took off the covers, fans were greeted by a chunky device that, for a young decade, looked more like a VCR box than a new gaming console.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so Microsoft could have glossed over the Xbox One’s original design and excited it with next-gen games; that didn’t happen. Instead of showing off a new Halo or Fable, Microsoft talked about the Xbox One’s Skype integration, its entertainment features, and a bizarre HDMI input that you can even connect a PlayStation to.
The reveal was bizarre and appeared to be aimed at home entertainment setups rather than gaming. Things got even worse when Microsoft realized that the Xbox One will need a constant internet connection in order for game ownership to be monitored, effectively adding global DRM to Xbox games.
And then there was the price: $499 for a console – that was a lot in 2013. Sure, Microsoft would wrap up a Kinect, which was cool for tech fans but a bit odd for everyday gamers. And not being able to just buy the console rubbed people the wrong way.
Comparatively the PS4 was all about being a gaming console with a suite of exclusive products at an introductory price of $399, and sharing games was as easy as giving your buddy a game disc. When both consoles launched in November 2013, it was not surprising that the PS4 came out on top, remaining the top seller with 116.6 million consoles sold to date.
Microsoft has reversed many of those decisions, although the messaging was sloppy for a while. The Kinect, which has now gone the way of the Dodo, has also been unbundled from the Xbox One, bringing the console’s price down. That was a smart move, but it must have stung early adopters.
The Kinect also left a specter in the form of graphics performance allocated to power the motion-tracking camera. Removing Kinect apparently gave developers more GPU power to play games, but the Xbox One tended to render games at 900p when the PS4 hit 1080p – the native resolution for Full HD TVs at the time. It’s safe to say that the Xbox One got off to a rocky start.
Far from one and done
But Microsoft doesn’t tend to stand still. So just barely three years later in August 2016, the Xbox One S was published. This took the original Xbox One and reworked it into a smaller box with an integrated power brick and access to a 4K Blu-ray player and HDR support; The storage space for it also increased from 500 GB to a healthy 2 TB.
The Xbox One S was a far better prospect for Xbox fans, not least because it started at a much more appealing $299. As such, it completely replaced the original Xbox One.
Backward compatibility was also introduced and expanded. When the Xbox One was launched, there was no native backwards compatibility, meaning people who wanted to play old Xbox games on their Xbox One had to connect an Xbox 360 via the HDMI-In port.
But in 2015, Microsoft started working on backwards compatibility for the Xbox One. And since then it’s grown, offering access to games dating back to the original Xbox; that culminated in Microsoft is adding another 76 backward compatible games to the Xbox One. This approach is still seen today with the Xbox Series X and the extensive backwards compatibility of the Series S with features that make games run better FPS boost.
From there, the Xbox One grew into a family of consoles. 2017 the Xbox One X came around, turned things around and made an Xbox the most powerful console in the world.
While PS4Pro occasionally rendering games in 4K, it tended to use a process called checkerboard rendering to upmix lower-resolution images to pseudo-4K. But the Xbox One X was mostly aimed at native 4K and tended to outperform its PlayStation rival.
It was the One X that motivated me to finally get a modern Xbox; I bought it mainly to get the best Red Dead Redemption 2 Experience I was able to have in 2019. And I wasn’t disappointed as this game looks absolutely amazing in native 4K.
Finally, an all-digital version of the Xbox One S was released in 2019. What would have been bizarre when the original Xbox One launched made sense now that Xbox Game Pass had really picked up speed.
Xbox Game Pass Skills
First launched in 2017, Game Pass grew out of Xbox Live Gold and was the brainchild of Xbox CEO Phil Spencer, who aimed to reverse the initial perception of the Xbox as an entertainment center and see it more as a gaming device.
Game Pass gave users access to Xbox Live’s online services, as well as a suite of The best Xbox One games and older titles.
Then came Game Pass Ultimate, which has bundled the Xbox service with the PC service, with cross-saves enabled in some games. This also included cloud-based game streaming, which allows users to do so Play Xbox games on their Android devices Assuming you have a good internet connection.
And that is now being further developed to make it possible Game Pass streaming on Apple devices via Safari browser, Windows computers and more. It does Xbox Game Pass the best deal on games, and arguably the pinnacle of Microsoft’s gaming arm.
Xbox One: Leaving a Legacy
given Xbox Series X is being restocked are still difficult to secure, the Xbox One is still relevant today as there are many cross-generational games for it, such as: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Halo infinity.
And even if the console lags behind, Xbox Cloud Gaming allows games to be streamed to Xbox One via Game Pass; I tried that with ForzaHorizon 5 and was impressed by how stable it all was.
However, with Xbox One consoles no longer being made, Microsoft has called the time on the last generation machines. But in spirit it lives on.
Sure, the Xbox One’s initial launch was a mess. But then the Xbox we know today, with the insatiable approach to backwards compatibility support, game access, and Game Pass expansion, all borrowed from the Xbox One.
And during the reign of the Xbox One, we’ve seen Microsoft grow Xbox Game Studios and Acquire Bethesda, which has delivered outstanding games like psychonauts 2 and gears 5. It also promises to see some huge exclusives this year, such as: starfield and redfall.
So pour one in and raise your glass to the Xbox One, as I firmly believe that’s why I’ve found this The Xbox Series X is the ultimate Xbox.