It’s wild to think that Genshin Impact was once considered a Breath of the Wild clone that would immediately fail. Well over a year after its initial release, the game continues to have staying power, and you have to think that comes from its free-to-play nature and its support for a variety of platforms. It is missing a key piece of the puzzle, though, in that there’s no version of Genshin Impact for Xbox at the moment. Why is Microsoft’s family of consoles getting snubbed? Why is developer miHoYo passing on this audience?
Here are some working theories.
Maybe there’s some sort of PlayStation console exclusivity
Anytime a game comes to a PlayStation console and completely skips out on Xbox, most gamers in the know wonder if there was some kind of exclusivity arrangement behind the scenes. This wouldn’t be an uncharacteristic move for Sony. One only has to look at Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the upcoming Final Fantasy 16 to know that Sony likes to lock in third-party exclusives.
It could be in this case that Sony got miHoYo signed on for console exclusivity — at least for a certain period of time. Such a situation would explain why we don’t have Genshin Impact for Xbox, and why the Nintendo Switch version of the game — which was indeed announced — still has yet to surface even though Genshin Impact launched in September 2020 and has since come to PlayStation 5.
Or perhaps miHoYo thinks the audience isn’t there
It’s no big secret that the Xbox line of consoles has faced difficulty attracting Japanese games. In the Xbox Series X/S generation, that’s at least changed a little bit. The Yakuza franchise appeared in 2020 after years of totally unforced PlayStation exclusivity. Other favorites, however, like the Persona series, have avoided Microsoft’s machines.
The absence of Genshin Impact for Xbox could be due to developer miHoYo simply believing the audiences don’t line up. Why port a very Japanese open world RPG to Xbox if you don’t think it’ll catch on the same way it would on a PlayStation or even a Switch? Maybe as the Xbox brand builds more cred in Japan, miHoYo will decide the platform is finally worthy of receiving its game. Until then, you may have to find some other title that scratches the same itch.
I hope to see Genshin Impact for Xbox one day
As someone who just cannot track down a PlayStation 5 right now, I’m a little disappointed Genshin Impact isn’t available on a machine I do have: the Xbox Series X. It is available for iOS and Windows, though, so I suppose I could always play it there. It won’t be the same experience as kicking back on the couch with a controller in hand. But it would afford the opportunity to play nonetheless.
Are you someone who’d love to see Genshin Impact come to Microsoft’s line of home consoles? If so, don’t just keep that feeling to yourself: make some noise! Maybe we’ll get lucky and miHoYo will heed your wish and make all of our dreams come true.