With the release of Starfield, Xbox fans are finally given a massive new exclusive to sink their teeth into. As Microsoft‘s biggest new title since the flop of Redfall, many gamers have placed their faith in the success of Starfield. For the first time in 2023, Xbox finally seems like they have a new release that can match the powerful exclusives of the PlayStation. However, one release, sadly, isn’t going to make a difference for Xbox as a whole. Regarding exclusives, PlayStation is still well ahead of Xbox in the console wars. Despite this, Starfield‘s success is a significant step forward for Xbox and possibly a sign of better things to come for the platform. Although Microsoft’s business model has moved away from exclusives, prioritizing both PC and Xbox, Starfield may give the Xbox Series X/S a fighting chance in the console wars.
Microsoft Has Shifted Their Focus From The Console Wars
Rather than make each new game exclusive to the Xbox Series X/S, many of their titles are also released for PC. Starfield is no different and will be released on PC simultaneously with its Xbox release. While this is an excellent practice for consumers by letting more players access Starfield, it falls short in terms of pushing Xbox consoles. Phil Spencer said, “There is no world where Starfield is so good people sell their PS5 and move to Xbox.” He continues, “We are not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo.” From the beginning, it seems the plan for Starfield had little to do with selling Xbox consoles. With that being said, this means Starfield isn’t a battle won for Xbox in the console wars.
Starfield Matches Sony’s Strong Exclusive Titles
However, seeing the release of Starfield, even if it isn’t Microsoft’s end goal, will help increase the popularity of Xbox consoles. It’s easy to see which line-up is more robust by comparing Microsoft’s past exclusives and comparing them to Sony’s. For PlayStation, we have seen consistently popular games, like Final Fantasy 16, God of War Ragnarok, and more, released exclusively for the PS5. On the other hand, Microsoft struggles in this realm, often with only smaller exclusive titles or AAA flops like Redfall. Seeing a new exclusive game like Starfield shows that Microsoft isn’t entirely out of new content and original IPs. At the very least, this will start reversing the long-standing narrative that the Xbox has inferior exclusive content.
The Content Of Starfield May Keep Players Glued To Their Xbox
Starfield could also see a resurgence of players returning to Xbox consoles and PCs. With such massive content available, Starfield creates an interesting case for players. Between the massive open world, limitless replayability, and mods, Starfield will have players locked into playing on Xbox or PC for some time. Rather than briefly playing a game and forgetting about it, Starfield will keep players glued to their Xbox for the foreseeable future. If this keeps players on Xbox, leading to the next huge Microsoft release, this may help the next game to perform. Potentially, if players are still playing Starfield years down the line, it could also line up with Bethesda’s next big release, Elder Scrolls 6.
In the end, Starfield may be the end of Microsoft’s trend of weak exclusives. While the game is fresh, it already has much better prospects than previous exclusives like Redfall. While this is a significant step forward to put Microsoft and Xbox back on the map, sadly, it may be too little too late to win the console wars.