Xbox has reportedly pruned the massive "Optimized for Xbox Series X" badge previously seen on select next-gen games.
Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad shared an updated version of the Dirt 5 box art on Twitter – Dirt 5 being one of the games that boasts Xbox Series X optimization – which he edited using updated guidelines from Xbox. The original version, which was first shown a few weeks ago, has an optimization badge bigger than its ESRB rating. Thankfully, the updated version does not.
Microsoft listened to feedback pic.twitter.com/2rFqMuMZSPAugust 3, 2020
In a reply, Ahmad clarified that the Xbox Series X optimization badge itself is gone, but games will still be marked as optimized for the console through a reasonably sized back-of-the-box snippet. He also stressed that while his mock-up is unofficial, it does represent the new template for games that are explicitly optimized for Xbox Series X.
In a separate tweet, The Verge editor Tom Warren said we'll still see the badge, it will just be on the back of the box. Microsoft has yet to officially communicate its plans for the optimization badge, but it seems that it will no longer be eating a significant percentage of next-gen box art.
Given how hard the company pushed the badge in the past, and how prevalent it is among online listings for Xbox Series X games, I can't imagine it's done with it entirely. However, there's no doubt that Xbox Series X box art will look cleaner without it, so I do hope it's been minimized as these reports suggest.
Here's every game confirmed for Xbox Series X optimization and Xbox Smart Delivery. And speaking of box art: here's how PS5 games will look on your shelf.