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Xbox Next? More like Xbox, next we need some more exclusives

The rumors of an Xbox Next, or Xbox Series X Pro sound enticing, but the Xbox needs more killer exclusives to compete with the PS5 Pro.

Chai from Hi-Fi Rush pointing a finger gun in front of the Xbox Brooklin model and the Xbox logo

Whether you already own an Xbox console or not, the idea of a mid-gen refresh for an upgraded model is an exciting idea. The PS5 Pro is rumored to be released in 2024, and while it seems like the pro version of Xbox is rumored to release in 2026, we can’t help but think there should be some killer software first.

While the list of PS5 exclusives grows larger with every passing year, the Xbox exclusives list is looking rather shallow. Of course, the best Xbox Game Pass games keep us coming back for first and third-party titles alike for one monthly price, but we’re hoping for the best Xbox games to come from, well, Xbox’s studios themselves.

According to Jeff Grubb in a recent Game Mess Decides stream, sources close to Grubb claim that Xbox Next, which could be the company’s Series X Pro or a full follow-up console, could be coming in 2026. If it’s the start of the next-generation consoles, this would push the rumored next gen Xbox release date forward by two years, starting the new-generation consoles much sooner than anticipated. And, potentially give Xbox a headstart before the PS6 release date.

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While the idea of a new generation of consoles starting sooner than expected sounds exciting, as PC hardware grows stronger alongside upscaling technology like NVIDIA’s DLSS, there’s one big problem that Xbox needs to fix; a lack of decent exclusives that make it worth buying.

We’re already three years into the Xbox Series X’s life, and there’s but a handful of exclusives that are actually worth playing. Starfield is fine, but nowhere near the system-seller that anyone, Xbox or PlayStation fans alike, expected – more on that in our Starfield review. Hi-Fi Rush is a killer shadow-drop that dominated social media for days but hasn’t left a huge mark on the gaming world. No matter how much our Hi-Fi Rush review praised the experience.

We’re still waiting on the Elder Scrolls 6 release date, the Avowed release date, and many more titles that Xbox has announced yet not released. Hell, even Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is yet to be released, with only a 2024 release window given thus far. While PC players and Xbox Cloud Gaming fans can enjoy a wealth of titles with their subscription without buying an Xbox console, those with the Series X or Series S, like us, would be very disappointed to see a new console generation without killer software.

Where’s Xbox’s Final Fantasy 16? Or Spider-Man 2? We’ve yet to see anything that really brings in crowds of new players for an exciting experience. Sure, PS5 has had some duds like Forspoken, but compared to Xbox’s Redfall, we’d say that Xbox is in an even worse state than PlayStation. And this is coming from Xbox fans, considering we stuck with the Xbox One through thick and thin.

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PlayStation, for all its issues, keeps delivering exclusives that keep the conversation on the PS5 in the gaming world for days, weeks, and sometimes even months after each game releases, so much so that the divisive The Last of Us Part 2 is still discussed to this day. Games like Starfield and Redfall have simply faded into obscurity as either painfully average or just boring experiences, while games like Forza Motorsport keep racing fans happy, but what about the rest of us?

While we hope that the list of Xbox Game Pass games grows with new exclusives over the coming years, some of which are hopefully bangers, we can’t help but feel that, despite owning one of the biggest RPG developers in the world, the list of the best Xbox RPG games is mostly third-party titles. An Xbox Next is an exciting proposition, but without the software to back it up, it may make for a hollow experience. At the very least, the best Xbox controllers are still some of the best peripherals on the market.