Your Xbox One might be dead, but here's how you can play new games for years

Microsoft ends development for last-gen although Xbox Cloud Gaming could be its saviour

Xbox One X on a black background
(Image credit: Xbox)

The Xbox One is dead! That's the feeling at least, with Microsoft admitting that it's ceased developing for the last-generation console. All new games from Xbox Studios will be for Xbox Series X, Series S and PC only.

However, that doesn't mean you should ditch your Xbox One X or One S quite yet. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate could be your saviour.

That's because, as the Xbox Studios head, Matt Booty, revealed, Xbox Cloud Gaming support will continue and you'll be able to stream the Xbox Series X/S versions of games on your legacy hardware.

What is Xbox Cloud Gaming and how will it extend the life of the Xbox One?

Xbox Cloud Gaming is available as part of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. It provides access to hundreds of Xbox games from multiple generations of consoles, including the latest. And, as you are merely streaming the video over the internet, with control movements heading the other way, it is not dependent on the processor or power of your console.

Indeed, it works as capably on a mobile phone or smart TV (such as the best Samsung TVs with Samsung Gaming Hub) as it does on a games machine. You will have to put up with a fraction more latency - the time it takes between pressing a button and the action happening on screen - and it helps to have better broadband, but it also means you can play the very latest games regardless of your kit.

That's one way to breath new life into old hardware - something the games industry hasn't managed before.

Talking to Axios, Booty revealed the company's plans to ditch Xbox One development is now complete, but also that it will continue to be able to access Microsoft's cloud gaming platform: "That’s how we’re going to maintain support," he said.

One element that helps is the fact that, when it launched the Xbox Series X and S, Microsoft ensured that the Xbox Wireless Controller was roughly the same and backward compatible. The former controller can also still be used on the latest machines.

That enables legacy Xbox gamers to play new games with older gamepads. It's not something that was implemented by rival Sony, which redesigned the PlayStation 5 controller completely. So, while it plans to add PS5 cloud streaming to its PS Plus Premium service, PS4 owners will not benefit in the same way - their DualShock 4 controllers cannot be used to play PS5 games and the newer DualSense doesn't work with any last-gen console.

It seems Xbox has been a little more forward-thinking.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.