Xbox Is Not In The Business Of “Out Consoling” Sony or Nintendo, Phil Spencer Says
Xbox head Phil Spencer joined the Kinda Funny Xcast on Thursday morning to talk about everything Xbox and the company’s past, present, and future. During his appearance, in addition to addressing Redfall’s launch and the CMA blocking the Activision deal, Spencer talked about the Xbox console and competing against Sony and Nintendo in that space.
Spencer says that while the company will still have a focus on “making the console experience as great as it can be”, it’s not the be-all, end-all of Xbox as a brand or company.
“I will say, and this might be disruptive as well, but we have a different vision,” Spencer said. “Play the games you want with the people you want anywhere you want. We want Xbox to be something that people who buy our console can feel like they’re a member of.
He added: “We’re not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo. There isn’t really a great solution or win for us. And I know that will upset a ton of people, but it’s just the truth of the matter is that when you’re third place in the console marketplace and the top two players are as strong as they are, and have, in certain cases, a very, very discrete focus on doing deals and other things that kind of make being Xbox hard for us as a team, [and] that’s on us, not on anybody else. Our vision is that everybody who’s on console has to feel like they have a great experience, and they’re a first-class citizen.”
Phil Spencer Says”Great Games” Won’t Change Things For The Xbox Console
Spencer says that he sees commentary online stating that if “great games” are built and released, everything would turn around for Xbox. It’s something he pushed back against.
“It’s just not true that if we go off and build great games then all of a sudden you’re going to see console share shift in some dramatic way,” he said. “We lost the worst generation to lose in the Xbox One generation where everybody built their digital library of games. So, when you go and you’re building on Xbox, we want our Xbox community to feel awesome, but this idea that if we just focused more on great games on our console that somehow we’re going to win the console race, I think doesn’t really lay into the reality of most people.”
Spencer told the show that 90% of the people who buy a console each year are already members of a specific ecosystem. It’s not something where players are going in likely looking to join a company’s platform for the first time.
“This is the first generation where the big games that they’re playing were games that were available last-gen,” he said. “When you think about Fortnite and Roblox and Minecraft, the continuity from generation to generation is so strong. I see a lot of pundits out there that kind of want to go back to the time where we all had cartridges and discs and every new generation was a clean slate and you could switch the whole console share. That’s just not the world that we are in today.
“There is no world where Starfield is an 11 out of 10 and people start selling their PS5, that’s not going to happen.”
Spencer said that because of where things sit in the industry, Xbox has to branch out and carve a market elsewhere as opposed to staying behind both Sony and Nintendo. He says that Game Pass, xCloud, and other areas allow them to do that.
For those worried about the system itself, though, Spencer attempted to put their minds at ease.
“The console is the core of the Xbox brand,” he said. “We will stay focused on making sure that console experience is awesome.”