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Microsoft unveils all digital Xbox console at games showcase

An image from Activision's Call of Duty is shown on a smartphone near a photograph of the Microsoft logo in this photo taken in New York, June 15, 2023.
An image from Activision's Call of Duty is shown on a smartphone near a photograph of the Microsoft logo in this photo taken in New York, June 15, 2023. Copyright Peter Morgan/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Peter Morgan/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Indrabati Lahiri
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Microsoft has launched an all-digital Xbox console which is set for release later this year. The company also announced a host of upcoming games including the next instalments of ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Assassin's Creed’ franchises.

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On Sunday, Microsoft held its Games Showcase 2024, where the company launched a new version of the all-digital Xbox Series S, as well as announced that the upcoming versions of the Xbox Series X consoles would be going digital as well. 

Both these console versions are expected to launch towards the end of this year, in time for the holiday season and Christmas gift market. The company also announced a special edition of the Series X console with increased storage of approximately 2 terabytes (TB), for more serious and professional gamers. 

Along with these, Xbox also revealed their upcoming games list, including cult favourites such as the next ‘Call of Duty’, titled ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 6’. 

Other games include ‘Age of Mythology:Retold’, ‘Doom: The Dark Ages’, ‘Gears of War: E-Day’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Great Circle’, ‘Perfect Dark’, ‘State of Decay 3’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed Shadows, amongst several others. 

This games showcase is particularly important, as the gaming industry around the world has been facing troubles with studios closing down, poor sales and increased layoffs. A major reason for this was due to gaming companies seeing a massive surge in demand during the pandemic, due to extended lockdowns and working from home. 

This in turn, led to a huge uptick in hiring, as companies tried to increase their production capacity to match demand. However, post-pandemic, with several offices and social spaces reopening and functioning as before, gaming levels have seen a hit, leading to mass layoffs and several studios being closed down.

Most games also take a long time and significant amounts of capital to develop, leading to both gamers losing patience and looking elsewhere and production companies seeing their profit margins erode further. 

As such, companies like Microsoft have had to adapt to better stand out from the crowd with new subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. 

Could Xbox launch a handheld device soon?

Recent hints in interviews with Xbox’s chief executive officer (CEO) Phil Spencer has increased speculation that the company may be developing a handheld gaming device. 

In an exclusive interview with Windows Central, Spencer said regarding a potential Xbox handheld device, “I’m travelling right now, I have my Lenovo Legion Go with me, which is fantastic. I think about those handheld PCs, almost extensions of my Xbox console. 

“To see when I pick up a game, that my progress on the console shows up on this handheld in a native way- it’s not just cloud streaming. And I can play on the airplane and or play when I’m disconnected. I think that’s vitally important to where we’re trying to go. 

“Xbox Play Anywhere has been a long term part of our strategy, though I don’t think we’ve made as much progress as maybe we could have over the years that’s been out. But as I see these handheld PCs come along, I think of things like playing anywhere, and my ability to keep my games library with me and allowing me to play those on different devices, including cloud streamed at some point. We’re looking at the ability to allow you to stream the games you own.” 

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