TECH NEWS – Phil Spencer isn’t too worried about Xbox console sales. He’s determined to pursue a different vision, a “different measure of success”…
Xbox boss Phil Spencer is not too focused on “outconsoling” competitors. He claims there is no simple solution to the gaming giant’s problems. Spencer clarified the state and direction of Xbox in an interview with Kinda Funny. Unfortunately, this comes at a time of serial failures for the company. Microsoft has been going through a difficult time in recent weeks.
While scepticism about Redfall has been growing, third-quarter results revealed that although revenue from content and services was up three per cent – no doubt thanks to Xbox Game Pass – console sales were down thirty per cent.
According to the company giant, this is explained mainly by how well consoles performed last year. So, the downturn was inevitable. However, the issues surrounding the Xbox Series X/S have been overshadowed by the announcement by the UK Competition and Markets Authority that it will prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard. This is because the group could potentially control the cloud gaming sector. Finally, in over a year, Microsoft’s biggest first-party release, Redfall, has been thoroughly panned by critics and gamers.
Phil Spencer was featured on the Kinda Funny Xcast podcast a few days later. He was asked if he thought Xbox was losing touch with the “console side” by developing a multiplatform approach. Spencer assured the presenter that the Xbox console experience was a priority. But he went on to rephrase the debate. “We have a different vision” was the gist of Spencer’s message, and Xbox “is not in the business of outconsoling Sony… or Nintendo”. In a surprisingly frank admission, Spencer claimed that there is no perfect solution for Xbox. Especially as it is “third in the console market”.
However, Spencer didn’t stop there. Instead, he decided to hit back. His rhetoric was that if Xbox simply “made great games”, the company could miraculously turn its share of the console market on its head. He blamed the current situation on the loss of the Xbox One generation. The point at which he claimed the majority of gamers had built up their digital libraries. In effect, it has locked itself into a particular gaming ecosystem.
Spencer believes that most people entering retail stores for consoles already have an investment in whatever system they buy, which is only reinforced by popular cross-generational games such as Fortnite and FIFA.
Phil Spencer also referred to anticompetitive agreements made by other companies. These are damaging Xbox’s ability to develop its brand. He was probably referring to reports that Sony has blocked the launch of Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation platforms. Also, the exclusivity deals that Sony often has with third-party developers. Anyway, it’s worth watching the full interview (see below) because it’s a confession…
-Different vision, won't "outconsole Sony & Nintendo"
-"We lost the worst generation to lose (XB1), where everybody built their digital library of games"
-"There's no world where Starfield is 11/10 and people start selling their PS5s"
— Shinobi602 (@shinobi602) May 4, 2023