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Phil Spencer Says Mid-gen Xbox Upgrade Doesn’t “Feel an Imperative”

Posted June 12, 2023 | Games | Windows | Xbox | Xbox Series S | Xbox Series X

Microsoft wrapped up its Xbox Games showcase yesterday with a new Xbox console, a black version of the Xbox Series S with 1TB of storage. It’s now been almost 3 years since Microsoft released its Xbox Series X and Series S console, and despite rumors of Sony working on a “PlayStation 5 Pro”, it doesn’t seem like Microsoft is interested in a mid-gen Xbox upgrade.

In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that he doesn’t “feel an imperative” to release a more powerful console than the Series X. “That’s not the feedback we’re getting right now,” Spencer said. “Right now, we’re pretty set on the hardware we have,” the exec added.

Following its Xbox Games Showcase yesterday, Microsoft also announced that gamers should no longer have issues finding Xbox Series X consoles. “Supply chain issues have now eased and we’ve been able to increase our supply globally making Xbox Series X easier to find than ever before, just in time for the line-up of exclusives we showed today to arrive,” the company said.

Microsoft has been marketing the Xbox Series X as the most powerful console in the market, capable of running games at 4K at 60 FPS and even allowing game developers to achieve 120FPS. However, this slight power advantage over the PlayStation 5 hasn’t really made a difference in cross-platform games. Moreover, we’re actually seeing more and more current games, including first-party Microsoft games with a 30 FPS cap.

The poorly-received Xbox exclusive Redfall released last month still lacks the promised 60FPS Performance mode, and Bethesda’s Todd Howard also confirmed yesterday that the upcoming Starfield will run at 4K/30FPS on the Series X. “Fortunately in this one, we’ve got it running great. It’s often running way above that. Sometimes it’s 60. But on the consoles, we do lock it because we prefer the consistency, where you’re not even thinking about it,” Howard told IGN.

While this is likely going to disappoint Xbox fans who were hoping that 30 FPS games were a thing of the past, it’s also true that the majority of console gamers don’t care that much about performance. You just need to look at how Nintendo manages to consistently release system sellers such as the brand new Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, even though the hardware of the Nintendo Switch is now really underpowered compared to current-gen consoles.

Would you be disappointed if Microsoft isn’t planning a mid-gen Xbox upgrade during this console generation? Sound off in the comments below.

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