Microsoft’s announcement of the next-generation Xbox Series X certainly took many by surprise at The Game Awards, but it’s features are even more bizarre.
For the first time ever in a console, Microsoft’s Xbox One X successor will allow players to have numerous games in standby mode at the same time.
In an interview with GameSpot following the announcement of Microsoft’s machine, Xbox team members revealed that the new console has the horsepower to allow players to keep games in standby at the same time.
“Today, we have the capability of instantly resuming the last game that you were playing,” said Jason Ronald, Partner Director of Program Management for Team Xbox.
“Why can’t you do that for multiple games? Many players choose to play multiple games at the same time, being able to instantly jump right back where I was, those are things that we can do with the platform level to make the gaming experience better.
“It’s really about ensuring there’s less waiting and more time playing because that’s ultimately what we all want to do with a with the consoles and with the services that we have.”
This means that players will be able to have one game running in the background while they’re currently playing another one.
For example, if a player is waiting for a match to start in a less populated multiplayer title, they could easily be wasting time in, say, GTA V while they wait.
This is all to help Microsoft keep their players’ attention, retaining the same amount of players for longer. It’s a strategy the company has been using for the entire generation thus far: by offering more services like Xbox Game Pass, players are spending more time playing games in Xbox’s services. Allowing players to essentially alt-tab between games at will is most certainly going to help with keeping gamer retention up.
However, Microsoft hasn’t spoken about the limitations of this system. Will games still be connected to online servers while they’re in standby? Will the Xbox Series X have a snappy enough dashboard to properly support this feature? We’ll have to wait and see.