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Phil Spencer ‘doesn’t see a world’ where Xbox Series S has to miss out on some games

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said the company doesn’t have any plans to allow the release of Xbox Series X exclusive games.

It’s currently a mandatory requirement for developers to ensure that their games are compatible with both Series X and Series S in order to release them for Microsoft’s consoles.

Some developers have argued that having to cater to Microsoft’s entry-level console is limiting the potential of current-gen games.

And the Xbox release of one this year’s most high-profile titles, Baldur’s Gate 3, is currently being held up by technical issues encountered by developer Larian Studios, which has so far been unable to get its split-screen co-op mode to run to an acceptable level on Series S.

“On S, specifically, we designed the box with similarities to X, and clear places where we’re targeting a different performance,” Spencer told Eurogamer on Wednesday. “And we’re taking feedback from devs including Larian, I met with them today to talk about it and I’m confident we’re going to find a good solution and we’re going to learn.

“I don’t see a world where we drop S. In terms of parity, I don’t think you’ve heard from us or Larian, that this was about parity. I think that’s more that the community is talking about it. There are features that ship on X today that do not ship on S, even from our own games, like ray-tracing that works on X, it’s not on S in certain games. So for an S customer, they spent roughly half what the X customer bought, they understand that it’s not going to run the same way.

“I want to make sure games are available on both, that’s our job as a platform holder and we’re committed to that with our partners,” Spencer continued. “And I think we’re gonna get there with Larian. So I’m not overly worried about that, but we’ve learned some stuff through it.

“Having an entry level price point for console, sub-$300, is a good thing for the industry. I think it’s important, the Switch has been able to do that, in terms of kind of the traditional plug-into-my-television consoles. I think it’s important. So we’re committed.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Spencer said the price of current-gen consoles won’t come down over time in the same way as other systems have in past generations.

He also thinks a mid-gen refresh would create “a ton of complexity for creators and players”, and said he’d like to find ways to ensure that hundreds of Xbox 360 titles aren’t lost when the console’s digital store closes next year.