Is 2022 The Worst Year Ever for Xbox?

There’s no doubt about it. As far as first-party titles go, 2022 has been a rough year for the Xbox brand. Starfield and Redfall were both delayed out of this year, much to the dismay of Xbox fans. Starfield is a brand new IP from Bethesda, known for beloved RPG franchises like Fallout and Elder Scrolls. Redfall is another new IP for the Xbox brand, and it’s developed by Arkane Studios, the same folks who released commercially and critically successful titles like Dishonored and Deathloop.

But it’s not just the first-party titles that failed to be released this year. Take STALKER 2 for example, which was supposed to be a timed exclusive for three months on Microsoft platforms, but it was delayed to next year. There was also Replaced, an indie title that followed in STALKER 2’s footsteps. Xbox had a lot of promising games this year, but due to unfortunate circumstances, 2022 is not too exciting for Xbox fans looking for new and exclusive experiences. On paper, 2022 seems like a rough year for the Xbox Series S & X owners. So the real question is, is 2022 the worst year for Xbox? Well, the answer is not a simple yes or no.

Exclusives have always played an important role in any gaming platform. They will generally sell the platform you play and define its success. Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic, and PC/MS-DOS had the older Doom titles. I still believe, as of right now, there haven’t been any exclusives I’d call “killer apps” for the Series consoles. We all think of Halo being the game that defined Xbox’s success and has always been the face of it, but I feel Halo: Infinite isn’t quite up to the standard a Halo game should be. Halo: Infinite was a cool game, but I think it’s not at its fullest potential currently. It’s certainly going to evolve down the line since it is a live service, and I’m looking forward to the many quality of life changes it’ll include in future patches. However, the great thing about owning the Series console extends beyond the exclusive titles.

Ever since I got my Series X just one month after its launch date, I remembered being surprised by how much better RAGE 2 was playing on the Series X vs the base Xbox One. I noticed the frame rate was smoother, aiming was crisper, and the load time difference was striking. I couldn’t go back to the base Xbox One because my Series X gave more quality of life to the games I play. RAGE 2 was technically the first Series X game I owned because it arrived a couple of days before I got the console, and once I made the transition, the rest is history.


It’s worth replaying games you might’ve played a while ago, but haven’t touched recently. There’s also nothing wrong with replaying games you’ve beaten. I still play the original Halo because of how well-designed the gameplay mechanics are and I have so much fondness for the bold, robust console shooter. It’s also nice to know that you can pretty much play your favorite games on the Xbox Series console, and it will give you the best experience out of any Xbox console.

Let’s be honest here, everybody has backlogs they can catch up on. This is the perfect time for you to do that because there aren’t many big Xbox exclusives coming out this year. Speaking of having backlogs to catch up on, if you’re a subscriber to Game Pass, there are tons of games for you to play and experiment with, and I’m sure there is something worth putting your time into as you wait for Redfall or Starfield. Did you know Halo: The Master Chief Collection had an update for ODST’s Firefight mode this year? It now allows you to go against Flood, which we have not seen in action since Halo 3 and Flood Firefight was not a thing in the original ODST for the 360. It’s certainly a blast to play if you’re looking for an engaging cooperative experience. You can also play the campaign cooperatively via the cross-platform on Halo 3 and its ODST expansion.

I’m sure people have heard enough of Game Pass, and there’s probably not much I can say that will be new. It’s certainly amazing value, and it always felt like a spiritual successor to renting games at a video store back in the days, but you’re getting way more value by being a subscriber to Game Pass and having access to 100+ games. It gives you something to do, and you can explore many different titles to see if it fits your taste.

The Series consoles seem to be the redemption for the Xbox brand after the Xbox One launch was met with criticism. I still have memories of the infamous 2013 reveal conference of the Xbox One, and it convinced me to stay with the Xbox 360 because that show was terrible. I couldn’t believe how anti-consumer it was, and it felt like Microsoft didn’t know what its core audience wanted. Fast forward to when the Series consoles were being developed, and Microsoft completely changed its marketing strategy from being anti-consumer to consumer-friendly. The series consoles promised the use of various Xbox One controllers, backward compatibility, and no forced Kinect integration. That’s what Microsoft did during the Series console inception. There wasn’t a killer, must-have exclusive at day one, but it was the world’s most powerful console, featuring a full catalog of Xbox games.


I can definitely say the series consoles are not anywhere near the glory days of the 360 era, but I believe it’s going in the right direction, especially since Xbox has been buying big-name studios. Microsoft bought Blizzard, which was the craziest gaming news in 2022, and that was exciting to hear because I grew up playing Blizzard games like Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo. Never in my life did I think the developers would be affiliated with the Xbox brand. While this acquisition will take full effect in the long term, it’s something Xbox fans should be excited about, and it will be helpful for the Xbox brand or anyone interested in buying the console.

Nowadays, it’s not difficult to find a Series console on the used market, unlike previous years where scalpers were running rampant posting their offerings, but if you look hard enough you can find a Series X or S for a fair price. This means you won’t have to wait for a restock or constantly check gaming sites for their availability. This is something you should be aware of, especially if you have an interest in getting a Series X, which is generally the harder Xbox console to hunt down. You should be grateful that a desirable item like a Series X is easier to find nowadays, and you’re not bumping into a lot of scalpers.

Not only that, but Xbox is also doing very well in terms of sales. According to GameInformer, the Series consoles were the best-selling console in March 2022 and were considered the best-selling console in dollars for the first quarter of this year. Recently, the Series console has outperformed the PS5 in Japan this June. GameSpot confirmed the PS5 has sold 3,035 units of combined physical and digital versions while the Xbox Series X sold 3,272 units. All of these units took place in the week beginning of June 13.

As of right now, Xbox Series exclusives are dry. I can say with confidence that 2022 is the worst year for Xbox on delivering exclusive titles to its core fans. However, the Xbox Series consoles are doing everything else fine. It seems like Microsoft is trying to focus more on delivering its exclusives in the long term; think of how many exclusives Xbox will have in the future. Remember, Microsoft has bought many big-name companies. I think worrying about exclusives will be something we’ll laugh at as we progress through the years.

While I would’ve loved to play some of the anticipated exclusives that were supposed to come out this year, this means you can continue playing your favorite backlogged games. There are many games I enjoy playing since owning the base Xbox One back in 2014, and I certainly don’t mind doing more of that. There’s always the chance of catching up on games you’ve missed out on, and this is a great time to do so before Xbox starts releasing its heavy hitters in the future.

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