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"Halo Infinite." Image: Microsoft.

As the new consoles from Xbox and PlayStation approach their first birthday, neither will be celebrating with a new-gen-only game.

Why it matters: The long-standing model of console makers selling new boxes with games that can only run on those boxes has been obliterated in 2021.

  • In its place, two red-hot consoles that are largely selling the way new PCs and phones do, on the promise of running broadly available software better.
  • That approach will be on full display during the busy holiday gaming season.

Driving the news: The online stores for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles list no new-gen-only games for the remainder of the year.

  • Microsoft will celebrate its new consoles’ birthday with cross-gen releases in the “Forza” and “Halo” franchises.
  • Sony, which promoted new PS5-only games last November — and then in April, June and September — has already committed to much of its 2022 lineup running on PS4 and PS5.

The big picture: Publishers and developers feel less pressure to make new-gen-only games this time around because they simply don’t have to.

  • Games made for the PS4 and Xbox One can run on PS5 and the Xbox Series consoles.
  • That wasn't the case in 2013, when the PS4 and Xbox One launched without the ability to run games from the prior generation, forcing any game made for the new boxes to sell to a much smaller installed base.
  • This time, publishers are almost exclusively offering games for both generations, but sometimes with added features for the next-gen version (EA’s “Battlefield 2042,” for example, supports 128-player matches on new hardware, 64-player on older consoles).

One early mover into the new generation last year, Ubisoft, has gone slower this time around.

  • Last gen: The company released a new-gen-only “Assassin’s Creed” as the PS4 and Xbox One turned 1.
  • This gen: Its big fall 2021 release, “Far Cry 6,” runs on the old consoles and the new ones.
  • During an earnings call yesterday, an analyst’s question about when the company would start rolling out new-gen-only games was largely dodged.
  • But, CEO Yves Guillemot noted: “We see more and more that the No. 1 platform today is the next-gen platform for all the games we launch.”

Go deeper

Philadelphia eyes proposal to ban "skill games"

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Philadelphia wants to put the kibosh on so-called "skill game" machines that populate stores throughout the city.

Why it matters: Councilmember Curtis Jones, the main sponsor of the proposal, said these machines operate outside of state regulations with little oversight in places like corner stores.

  • These "bandit machines" — which accept cash or give out cash rewards — are plaguing communities and leading to crime around businesses that offer them, Jones said.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.