This time last year, Microsoft’s current flagship console was little more than a swanky video spot aired during a swanky awards show. Now, it’s the capstone to one of the biggest years for Xbox in recent memory. Time sure works in funny ways.
Yes, it’s been almost one year to the day since Microsoft officially revealed the Xbox Series X at the 2019 Game Awards. The unprecedented nature of 2020 can certainly contribute to a distorted sense of time, like you’re viewing recent history by looking at a funhouse mirror through a kaleidoscope. Here’s a quick temperature check: Nine months ago, people were fretting more about Memorial Day plans than they were about the daily covid-19 infection rate. The Black Widow movie was about to hit theaters (remember those?). You may have ordered a daily latte at your local coffee shop without wearing a mask, without fingering the travel-sized bottle of Purell stashed in your pocket, without consciously inching away from the person behind you in line. Seems like another life, right? Put another way, Microsoft swung for the fences in the midst of some seriously extenuating circumstances—and largely hit big.
For one: The Xbox Series X. Despite conditions that shook the supply line and upended the way we do business, Microsoft got the thing out the door. Beyond that, the company also released a budget-friendlier console alongside the main one (a first for Xbox), expanded its subscription and cloud-gaming offerings, acquired another major corporation in the video game space, and even managed to publish a few games along the way.