This generation's cross-gen period is looking increasingly lengthy, due to supply chain disruption and the fact that familiar console architecture means last-gen consoles are still viable. Having said that, just how viable are they in 2022?
The folks over at Digital Foundry have gone ahead and put the original Xbox One through its paces, testing the machine out on a variety of recent games. Remember, this is 2013 hardware playing games almost a decade on, and for the most part, you can tell.
While titles like Forza Horizon 5 and to a lesser extent, GRID Legends, hold up pretty well considering the age and power of the system, more demanding games aren't looking so hot in 2022. Cyberpunk 2077 is notorious for its poor performance here — as shown in the video analysis — but even a game like Call of Duty: Vanguard, from a series famed for 60fps gameplay, is struggling on the base Xbox One.
Load times are also detailed across a selection of games, and the Xbox One is eating into a good chunk of gaming time. Forza Horizon 5 for instance takes over two minutes to load on base Xbox One, which seems ridiculous after using Xbox Series X|S for over a year.
With all that in mind, is now the time to leave Xbox One behind? These results would certainly suggest so. Sub-30fps performance levels and crazy long load times hurt how games feel to play, and no-doubt, the experience is better on Xbox Series X|S. However, the fact that these games can still run even this well on last-gen hardware, not to mention the stresses of the current economic climate, mean sticking with Xbox One still makes plenty of sense in 2022.
Forza Horizon 5 is a game that looks next-gen on an Xbox Series X. You can belt it across the Mexican desert at 300mph, without so much as a stutter, at 60 frames per-second. And yet, the experience is broadly similar on Xbox One, and the game still holds up well enough. Sure, it's an exclusive and Microsoft clearly puts in the effort there, but studios have become pretty efficient at scaling their games to different hardware setups.
And then, of course, there's the stock shortage. While this is finally clearing up, some areas are still struggling for stock and it remains a good idea to put games out on last generation systems. After all, there's probably 50 million or so Xbox Ones out there.
There's also the global economy in a post-COVID world. Hey, look, we want to be the last site to remind you about things like, you know, real world responsibilities, but the fact is that some people just cannot afford new consoles at present, even the cheaper Series S. Gaming can be really beneficial to all sorts of folks out there, as we can attest to, and games being available for those still using older systems is great in this day and age.
And while Microsoft has pushed for Xbox Cloud Gaming to help phase out last-gen, most of us still like to game on native hardware, or we don't have the internet to keep up. Xbox Cloud Gaming could become a core pillar for last-gen players in a few years, but for now it remains a neat bonus that some won't use, whether by choice or not.
But is this focus holding current-gen back? Well, maybe. Without the shackles of the Xbox One we may well have seen more advancements in new gaming technology, but until now Microsoft's first party output has yet to fully capitalize on 'next-gen' anyway. And to be fair to Xbox Game Studios, the likes of Starfield, Redfall and other highly anticipated titles are now moving on from Xbox One and becoming Xbox Series X|S (and PC) exclusive experiences. It's primarily the third-party developers and publishers who seem to be holding onto the Xbox One generation in 2022.
For now, we think that developers and publishers sticking with the Xbox One, maybe through late 2023, is going to be a reality. We can't lie and say we won't be disappointed if by that point we haven't started to leave the old machine behind. But for now, it remains a great option for many players, and regardless of the number of drawbacks shown in this video, the console still provides a place for more Xbox fans to play the games they love.
But, what do you think? Should the Xbox One be dropped sooner rather than later? Let us know your thoughts down below.