The Big ol' Xbox 3rd Party Releases Discussion Thread (HiFi, SoT, Pentiment, Grounded) (Part 1)

The conversation moves so fast I struggle to keep up. Where has the Halo chat come from?

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It’s whining PC gaming neckbeards as usual.

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Jez’ article about no Red Line and now everyone is reviving their old everything is on the table arguments from before.

Me personally, I think that Microsoft is going full 3rd party. How soon that happens depends on how quickly they think they can do it while keeping most of their ecosystem intact.

Ah - thanks. I personally never understood why Xbox backed themselves into a corner with Bethesda in respect of exclusivity. The messaging IMO should have just been that all Bethesda games will be day and date on Gamepass and release simultaneously on Playstation and PC.

Then I would have the IP that are synonymous with the Xbox brand as exclusive (Halo, Forza, Gears).

Smaller budget games would be day and date gamepass with either a simultaenous release on other platforms or 6 month delay.

The above is just my view of course. I dont really care if games like Starfield go third party. I think they should. Reach new audiences and players and tempt people into Gamepass that way.

However I firmly believe that if legacy IP went to rival platforms then the damage wouldnt be redeemable in the long term.

Game Pass already exist on all Platforms that Starfield launched. Imo, Starfield launching on Playstation wouldn’t move the needle for Game Pass because it’s unlikely to ever be a thing on Playstation.

I say this of course, after the news of Poland doing anti competition review(investigation) on PSN and Steam. So maybe that leads somewhere for Game Pass on extra platforms.

I agree Starfield in isolation wouldnt. If we lived in a world though where every Bethesda game so far went third party at the same time, the financial outlay someone spent versus a gamepass subscription may in some cases change someones view.

For clarity, I really wouldnt expect a huge influx of users on the back of publishing these games elsewhere, just a very small percentage. The reality of the matter for me is that Bethesda IP isnt front and centre in peoples minds when it comes to what the Xbox brand stands for. It never really made economic sense to me to keep those games exclusive.

At least with titles like Gears there is that intangible brand identity that really you cant put a value on. I do think losing that identity would be costly.

Starfield lived up to the hype, but also did the hate for it from the other camp. I can guarantee you it’s sell millions if it released on PS5.

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Slow response from me but yeah - I love this game! The open world bits are a bit frustraring, especially when I dont have the required equipment to access things but the story bits are really well done.

In many ways it feels like a more recent game. Kinda crazy this game came out almost a decade ago


Halo, Forza and Gears have been on Steam for years. Does Steam not count as a platform, because we’re used to it by now?

These consoles people keep fighting over are dying out. And personally, I can’t wait until everything runs on a generic PlayBox. Heck, I’d love to do full cloud gaming, if Xbox ever gets out of beta…


Alright, to clarify, I’m not saying that Starfield was a failure. I’m saying that Starfield did not live up to the “Skyrim In Space” hype for the general public. I think we can all agree that Starfield is not the cultural phenomenon that Skyrim was, and as such, by itself should not have been expected to move the needle much in console sales.

I’m just saying that the argument “Starfield came out and didn’t sell a ton of Xbox Series consoles so MS is right to give up” doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I don’t think it was ever meant to be the same phenomenon as Skyrim though. You can’t get that from a new franchise, especially with the buildup Skyrim had after Oblivion. Maybe some hyped it up to be that though, for sure, so I’d understand their “disappointment”.

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Not sure how true this is, but I think it’s kept in perpetual beta to roll out updates without all Microsoft’s certification Red tape.

But it is weird last year updates to it slowed to a crawl and now it’s ramping back up again. Fix the image quality please!

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For what it’s worth I agree, Skyrim was a keystone moment (much like morrowind) However there is also another conversation around how the consumption of games has also changed. I think there is a lot of nuance to the topic for sure.

I think the reality is Xbox has grown too large that a singular console cannot support it’s business structure. I don’t even think the PS5 and Switch are enough which I think it’s why they are adopting a new open console system.


Wouldn’t surprise me if the cloud slowdown was related to the whole FTC/CMA ordeal.

But yeah, the image quality / bitrate really needs to improve. I hope they get a full cloud option going for next gen, because I’d actually love to ditch the hardware. Same goes for PlayStation (currently better quality, but more restrictions.)

In the UK it has to be a very quiet time of day to even get a slot on xCloud - normally if I’ve tried to load it up for a Rewards quest (back when they still had them!) or to try a game out before download, there’s been a wait of 15 to 30 minutes in the queue.

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I often do my Fallout 76 dailies on xcloud on PC and I think it looks quite good to be honest. Just up the bitrate a bit and it’d be more than serviceable. A 4K option would be nice for sure though, or at least some kind of upscaling.

I often use it on my SteamDeck in the evenings without an issue? I’m also in the UK too.

From my personal experience, slow-paced, low detail games like Slime Rancher look great. On the other hand, fast-paced, high detail games like Forza Horizon are borderline unplayable due to image breakup.

That said, it may well depend on geographical location, nearest data center, time of day, if the sun is shining and whether the server has had its coffee yet.

Both Stadia and PS have always been perfect for me, for what it’s worth. I really wish Xbox would get to that level.

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For me it’s hit or miss. Sometimes it looks and runs great, sometimes the image breaks up and is fully pixelated and I get those horizontal lines in the screen. But it’s always extremes, never middle ground, and it doesn’t seem like my connection is the issue, so it’s a weird one to pinpoint.

But usually it’s fine. I especially like it on Edge with the sharpening filter on.