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All the big announcements from the future of Xbox event

Sea of Thieves is one of four Xbox games rumoured to be coming to rival consoles (Rare / Xbox)
Sea of Thieves is one of four Xbox games rumoured to be coming to rival consoles (Rare / Xbox)

After an anxious couple of weeks, Xbox fans can breathe easy.

In an event on Thursday night, Xbox affirmed that it will continue making consoles, with a mouth-watering tease of its next-generation hardware. It also announced a devilish new addition to Game Pass and promised more exclusives. So, don’t listen to the online crackpots advising you to sell your Xbox Series X.

But first, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. The rumours turned out to be true: Xbox will begin publishing games on other consoles. Four titles will eventually arrive on additional platforms, the company revealed, but we didn’t get any names or release dates.

Which Xbox games are coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch?

The only clues Xbox offered was that the chosen games have been available on Xbox for at least a year, and they include “hidden gems” and live service games, which should get a bump from the added exposure.

Based on that criteria, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see Hi-Fi Rush, Sea of Thieves, Pentiment, and Grounded make the cut – most of which were already leaked in previous reports.

What about Starfield and Indiana Jones?

It also sounds like this is more than just an experiment. Quizzed by The Verge on whether a major release like Starfield or Indiana Jones could make the jump to PlayStation, Xbox chief Phil Spencer didn’t rule it out altogether.

Still, he insisted that his firm’s multi-platform strategy was in its infancy: “We’re focused on these four games and learning from the experience,” Spencer said.

Xbox certainly has no qualms about sharing its library with its cloud-gaming rivals. After previously bringing Game Pass to NVIDIA Geforce Now, we found out yesterday that Halo Infinite is now available on the service.

When is Diablo 4 coming to Game Pass?

For Xbox players, by far the biggest announcement of the night was the upcoming arrival of Diablo 4 on Game Pass.

On March 28, the hellish RPG will become the first Activision Blizzard title to hit the subscription service since Microsoft completed its acquisition of the gaming giant.

Staying with Game Pass, Xbox reiterated that games made under its umbrella will come to the platform on the day of their release. That means the likes of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Avowed, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, and probably the next Call of Duty.

But, not all the news was encouraging. Xbox said that Game Pass has 34 million subscribers, a shockingly low number, especially when you take into account that it includes its Xbox Live Gold (now Xbox Game Pass Core) customers.

The figures don’t paint a rosy outlook for the service. Xbox is pouring millions into Game Pass in a bid to acquire major new releases for the platform. Of course, the output from its own studios can do some of the heavy lifting, but its sluggish growth raises thorny questions about the service’s long-term sustainability.

Forget about Xbox canning its consoles, if its multi-platform gambit actually pays off, we’d be more concerned about Xbox scrapping Game Pass.

When will Xbox release a new console?

Speaking of new hardware, Xbox boasted that its next console will deliver "the largest technical leap that you will have ever seen in a hardware generation”.

According to internal leaks, the new system could arrive in 2028, by which point roughly eight years will have passed since the release of its current machine, the Xbox Series range.

In the meantime, the company is exploring “unique” forms of hardware, with some speculating it could release its fabled Xbox handheld. Lest we forget, another internal leak revealed that a refreshed Xbox Series S and X were slated for this year – though Xbox has distanced itself from those claims.

Either way, the company says it will reveal all during the holiday period, so expect an announcement between November to December.