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Phil Spencer's new vision for the Xbox One

The Xbox chief on the change of direction that will help Xbox in its fight against PlayStation.

Things have been looking up for the Xbox One, and you can place much of the emphasis on the console's upturn following its troubled incubation and faltering early months on one person: Phil Spencer, the man appointed the head of Xbox on March 31st last year, and who's spent the past year changing the course of the console and setting it towards calmer, more promising waters.

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Septic981d ago

Looks like the gaming focus is now extremely strong (as it should have been day one) and backed up by Nadella.

"It's been great to get that affirmation from the CEO on all the work that we're doing. We feel a commitment and a responsibility with that, and we're trying to live up to it."

Xbox have a really uphill battle but they have made some great moves in the gaming front so far. Lets see if they can continue the momentum throughout this gen.

XB1_PS4981d ago (Edited 981d ago )

With Microsoft's money, they honestly could be the better platform. If they build tons of studios, they can churn out high quality games like not many other businesses are even capable of doing. I don't put faith in MS though. I would need to see games being made by their money. Not bought by it.

EDIT: Honestly, I don't know how one could disagree with what I said. Money makes the world go round. The company with the most money, can make the most games. That's a fact. It's just a matter of actually DOING it.

Septic981d ago

Chucking money at the problem isn't a solution.

You have to foster talent and that's easier said than done. The talent has to be part of a team that works really well, has good chemistry and a proper vision.

Read up on what made Rare so good in their golden age. They had this fun/slightly insane work ethos and it paid off.

I think Spencer realises this and is making more long term commitments, something MS neglected for so long.

XB1_PS4981d ago

@Septic

Everything you're saying requires money first. You can't get a group together to foster talent on good faith and promises. I understand that not all studios put together will be as close knit as Rare was. That's a given. You can't make that. Though hiring the best in the business to create the best shot at that chemistry is something that Microsoft's bank has room for.

The more money you throw at it, the more attempts you have to create a great studio.

What you're saying sounds great, but if that was as simple as it is. I would be able to assemble a studio, with care. That's not possible.

Septic981d ago

@XB1

Yeah mate, I'm not saying that all of the above doesn't cost money. It absolutely does. But the PlayStation brand has a much longer legacy at a pivotal time when gaming was REALLY gaining momentum.

MS don't have that legacy and they need to focus on their studios and fostering talent for the long run. Easier said than done.

Look at their buy-out of Rare- that's an example of how MS money didn't work out at all ($50 million iirc).

moldybread981d ago

they are still throwing money around to try and fill the gaps. tomb raider is a prime example. the perception is they are trying to buy their way in by blocking others out. the debate can go on forever but the reality is this type of strong-arming its way into competition doesn't go very well with consumers.

they are perfectly fine with collaborations like we saw with sunset overdrive and what sony is doing with bloodborne and what nintendo did with bayonetta 2. consumers see it as investing in those games that might not get created without their involvement. these side deals we see with tomb raider and the upcoming street fighter are only created to block others so they can generate more hardware sales.

people keep telling microsoft they have to invest in their own games. build franchises other than halo, gears, fable and forza. one thing you have to hand it to sony is even when new titles fail they keep trying. microsoft seems to keep wanting to play it safe so they put money at already established franchises like minecraft. thats why it was upsetting to hear the people who are now working on a new gears of war game had to cancel their original ip. once again microsoft comes across as not willing to invest in aaa games from new studios and new franchises. so they take some risk away by working with well known developers like insomniac and remedy instead of housing their own studios to do it.

XB1_PS4981d ago

@Septic

Rare was bought 13 years ago. Microsoft was a completely different company back then, a much more cocky company..

What I'm getting from what you're saying is that Playstation was the best, at the best time. OK, cool. That's true. That has nothing to do with what Microsoft needs to do though.

"MS don't have that legacy and they need to focus on their studios and fostering talent for the long run. Easier said than done."

I don't disagree with this. I never said they don't have to take care of their studios.

What I said is that money makes them capable of creating studios. Do you disagree with that?

Mega24981d ago Show
FriedGoat981d ago (Edited 981d ago )

Microsoft are the exact same company they always were, I have yet to see any change apart from talk. Talk talk talk, all MS are ever good for.

Money makes more studios, but more studios doesn't make better games.

kreate981d ago

We dont need any new vision.
Just make games.

I actually dont want any new vision.
Just make games games games.

Regular normal games.
No gimmick games.

Brotard981d ago

The thing is all the money microsoft has isnt made from Xbox, so why take a profitable machine, IE WINDOWS, cloud, 365, office and put it into your machine that's been in the red for a long long time, instead of putting it into the more profit le area. Just because we want them to doesnt mean they are or should do it.

mozzie980d ago

the thing is people want to disagree. haters gonna hate.

gangsta_red980d ago (Edited 980d ago )

@XB1

Building tons of studios doesn't mean they will all churn out high quality games.

I mean have you not seen some of the triple A games so far that have been mediocre or trash? You really think that a ton more studios will help?

And 'tons" of studios require "tons" of money that has to be constantly spent to maintain rent space, employees pay, insurance and development and production costs. Those games those TON of studios make each better turn a profit or that is just a TON of money MS has wasted.

You have to remember triple a game are now producing at million PLUS. Down the line all you would see is a ton of those studios closing down when they don't make a profit, as we have all seen in the past and recently.

Sure you can throw money and build a bunch of studios and have them make games, that is a FACT. But the real challenge is having those games be interesting, fun, stand the test of time and most importantly SUCCESSFUL!

LonDonE980d ago Show
christocolus980d ago

I like the part where he mentions VR. he says Hololens doesn't 'lock out' the option for an Xbox VR device. I have always assumed that MS would announce their own VR tech.its been rumored for a while now that MS has been working on other input devices for Xbox.i remember one of the oculus guys also saying MS was one of the companies interested in buying out the tech but they went with Facebook instead.

If MS wasn't interested in VR then why would they make a bid for Oculus?i'm guessing they've been working on theirs or maybe partnered with another company to create a standard VR device capable of working with Kinect2 and maybe Hololens (a partnership similar to what valve and htc are doing with vive).My guess?we will see an announcement at E3..

Godmars290980d ago

"You have to foster talent and that's easier said than done."

Hasn't that been they policy leading up to three console gens? The 360 era was largely nothing but "exclusives don't mean anything" while they were buying exclusive content. If they couldn't see the contradiction then, at worst now they deserve a wait and see. Not a "they already got this won!"

kraenk12980d ago

That's actually the problem. MS is all about the money, always was. They always try to solve their problems with using their vast amounts of money but no real dedication. That's also why they change direction at least once a week. No direction, no soul, no real attitude.

paddy95980d ago

Good games are made by creative people. Creative people are not driven by money. Microsoft is not a creative company. Nintendo is leading in that department.

rainslacker980d ago

Having 10 studios with only 2 that make games that people want isn't as effective as having 5 studios with all 5 of them making games people want.

When it comes to studios, it's not the number, but how much support and freedom you give them to do what creative developers do best, and that's create good games.

If you try to micro manage studios to make games you think will sell, instead of letting them focus on making a good game, then it really means nothing, and they'd be better off just buying 3rd party exclusives to save on having to spend money on operations.

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 980d ago
Automatic79981d ago

GDC was a great event for MS while other companies focused on hardware MS focused on games. Love the way Phil is handling Xbox and now windows 10.

981d ago
Automatic79981d ago

@xbjuan

"MS had been such a big company and has lost its focus, they do anything that will make them money"

Isn't that what all companies want. Lol If you think Xbox is not more focused now then you missed out CES, GDC and don't see they are bringing the heat with game announcements. E3 is next are you going to turn a blind eye. Phil has been great for MS and Xbox.

proudxgamer980d ago

Thanks for pointing that out...I thought I was the only one .

XiMasterChief980d ago

@xbjuan

Microsoft is a company, a business. Of course they want to make money, they teach you this in High School.

rainslacker980d ago

MS had 1st party game announcements at GDC? Only games I remember them announcing were Elite, Gigantic, and a focus on indies(can't remember the number).

How exactly is announcing 3rd party timed exclusives and a bunch of indies bringing the heat? If that's your definition of heat, then wouldn't Sony be burning us to a crisp right now since that's about all they've been doing since the systems reveal?

MS had a great GDC, I'll agree. Lots of stuff there, although quite a bit of PR with the technical stuff barely even reported on, but I think you are jumping the gun there to make the claims you are. What I see more of is that MS is more focused on Win10 integration and promoting that to gamers through the Xbox brand, than I see them having a paradigm shift towards MS as a whole caring about gaming. Phil, and the Xbox division are the only ones I see that seem to want to try and make something good happen, but it's too early to tell if it will be meaningful.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 980d ago
christocolus980d ago

It's pretty obvious that Nadella&Phil make a better team than Ballmer&Mattrick. as you said below their focus on gaming across xbox and pc should result in the creation of new studios and the expansion of the already existing ones.

Great times ahead.

Thatguy-310980d ago

Well the 360 had a really big game centric launch as well. Let's see if they're able to continue until the end.

Azzanation980d ago

You do know its about profits yeah? What uphill battle are you referring to? The X1 is selling well and MS are extremely happy with it. Its only going to get better. They have only released 2 of there biggest franchises and one is a remastere while Sony have released 5+ of there major exclusive including a remaster and its had a 1 year head start world wide. Sales figures only matter if the profit is there. And there both profitable.

kaizokuspy980d ago

Selling well in the US, but not outside. No amount of games can save it with outside sells unless they change their policies in foreign regions. Ask gamers outside the UK their opinion. If they can only play regionally and are limited to what they can purchase, why would they ever buy an Xbox One with a limited selection of games. Also, inside of those games, their server populations are even smaller. Xbox One is a great console here in the US, but globally it wouldn't make much sense to purchase one. Again, HAS GREAT GAMES, IS A GREAT CONSOLE, but could do better with their policies locally and abroad.

Eddie20101980d ago

This weeks new vision. Not dissing Xbox but seems there's a new vision every week.

kaizokuspy980d ago

Yeah man I agree. As the games come out I start getting more enticed by it, however I'm still in wait & see mode with purchasing one. I still play my 360 and what not and am a rewards member, but my only real complaint with the Xbox One brand now are the policies, not the games. Sending me emails saying for being a rewards member for so long I had an exclusive offer to get a Xbox One bundle for $359.99, but at the same time, that was the selling price for it. Why do they treat me like I am stupid? As a consumer I just want to be treated better. I recognize it is a great console with great games and is headed in the right direction for me to purchase, but I still need to wait & see if they deliver the change I am looking for.

DevilishSix980d ago

Phil has had an uphill battle after Don Mattrick almost ruined the xbox brand. Glad to see them doing better. Market competition is good for this industry. Have x1 and Ps4 and look forward to all the great exclusives.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 980d ago
greenmiker981d ago

Interesting interview in Eurogamer. Spencer looks optimistic and like this he has to be. This generation is new and we have a long way for saying who has won the battle.

Its true btw that the NPD numbers of december were good for Xbox:
"We had a great November and December both in the UK and the US. Sony's off to a tremendous run with the PS4

corroios981d ago

Bringing exclusives to the PC will help the Xbox One? Wait, no it wont. It will give more money to Microsoft from PC gaming that they cant get from the Xbox One.

Nothing more then business, like all companies. Money is the number one objetive and nothing more.

XB1_PS4981d ago

It will help the overall Xbox brand. Also, it makes them tons more money. Microsoft doesn't make money from selling consoles. They make money from selling software. Putting exclusives on PC will make them boat loads of extra money, while showing that what they want is people to play the games. Not hog them to one platform. I'd rather them release on PC as well. I have no doubt that these games will be windows 10 exclusive as well. Which helps them out in that regard.

Primal981d ago (Edited 981d ago )

But it will make the Ps4 and Wiiu more appealing as their exclusives usually stay put and give you a reason to buy them thus diminishing the Xbox brand. Otherwise I could just settle for a PC and Ps4 or Wiiu. Why buy a Xbox One? Just for Halo and Gears?

This method might make them a profit but it will undercut their console software sales and PC piracy is not cheap, why even have a console? Just to release Halo and gears? Windows 10 exclusives would just piss off Pc gamers whom are addicted to steam and wouldn't have it any other way.

kaizokuspy980d ago

@XB1_PS4 This will not help the overall Xbox brand. I want that brand to succeed and this just gives PC gamers a reason to not purchase an Xbox One. I'm all for more games on PC is always good, but don't be naive and say this helps the brand as it doesn't. It may make the developers of the actual games more money, so they can continue to develop for the XB1, but it doesn't encourage growth of the Xbox One brand itself.

DEEBO981d ago

They had their chance with the 360 but hardware was the problem (i one of my xbox ones break but it's back and i got a month of live)

Next is that sony has the worldwide appeal not just the UK/US.
NPD is great but WW sales is why MS can never win a console generation.

Now they had to flip this,change that because gamers want games and hardware power matters now.To be honest it has always matter or 8bit gaming Would still be enough but it's not.

mcstorm981d ago

I don't think the xbox one is having any issues because of the 360 hardware. If you look at the xbox one numbers compared to the 360's at the same stage they are higher. The difference this time around is the PR around the xbox one was a mess where last time Sonys PR was a mess for the PS3. Nintendo also suffered the same with the WiiU.

We always tend to have one console outselling the others each gen as one will grab the hype and sales from when it has been announced.

This will also happen next gen and the one after that and so on and so on.

The one thing that the company who is in 2nd or 3rd place has to do is react to get sales up and that is what both Microsoft and Nintendo have done. In a way Sony needed to react with the PSV sales but it fell down the wayside and it looks like Sony are putting less and less support for the PSV which for me is bad news as I love the hardware its just missing the games.

I don't think the Xbox one or WiiU will catch the PS4 this gen but I do see them setting them selfs up for a good end to the gen and it then all falls to all 3 again next gen to get the PR right at the start of the gen and let the public decide which console they want.

Psygnosis333980d ago (Edited 980d ago )

Its not the only reason for ps3 to have a bad start...360 was relised 1year earlier and ps3 was expensive.
One will take the hype and will lead)"Maybe to some extent, but not entirely,SNES and Genesis where equal.ps3, 360 and wii are also pretty close.

mcstorm980d ago

I agree with what you say but the Wii had a great start to last gen and slowed towards the end and there is nothing to say this wont happen with the ps4 (nothing to say it will too) but my point was just that there is always one that sells more and there always will be. For me I buy a console because it has the games I want and not because more people have one. Its the same with phones and tablets I have a Lumia 1020 because I wanted the camera on it and a surface pro 3 because it fit my needs better than an iPad or android tablet.

I even bought an Amiga cd 32 when it cam out because it had amazing games I wanted to play.

ShowanW981d ago

I like this new Microsoft vision.

Finally knowing who they are. Looks like the identity crisis is going away.

Still very shocked it took them this long to realize who they are.

Phil Spencer really does give Microsoft a "Human" element. I'm a Microsoft fan, but lets be honest, they speak to everyone so "Robotic" and it SUCKED.