Phil Spencer Clarifies Long-Term Xbox Hardware Innovation Vision; Talks PC Gaming and More

Last week saw the Xbox Spring Showcase in San Francisco. Division head Phil Spencer talked about the possibility of faster hardware innovation for Xbox consoles, and how Microsoft is embracing PC gaming. This caused quite a stir among Xbox fans.

Today, Spencer gave more color on what he meant.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
URNightmare720d ago (Edited 720d ago )

It's really not a good sign when a company is always "clarifying" things they say.

1. About tv.
2. About always online.
3. About mandatory Kinect.
4. About the cloud.
5. About DX12.
6. About timed exclusivity deals.
7. About Hololens or the horrific VR demonstration they showed.
8. Now, about the plans they have to turn a console into a PC.

Microsoft and Xbox is a depressing story to follow.

I seriously don't think they will go ahead with those plans after all the negativity they have awoken. They will end up doing another 1080 before the fk up things even more.

Sciurus_vulgaris720d ago

Maybe its because people (or the overly vocal minority) misinterpret (deliberately spin) what ever MS says.

-Foxtrot720d ago

Not really...he just talks A LOT

Herbalistic720d ago

Microsoft shouldn't be quick to announce things without the proper details/explaining how it benefits consumers.

URNightmare720d ago (Edited 720d ago )

Nah, just think what a disaster it would have been of the Xbox One could only function if connected onlie with how unstable Xbox Live has been. People wouldn't be able to even play there games offline!

If Microsoft continues with their plan to turn an Xbox console into a PC, only Sony and Nintendo will benefit from that.

I seriously don't understand wtf Microsoft is thinking. Their greed at the time of planning makes them take the wrong decisions.

I said it once and I will say it again, Windows will be the downfall of Xbox. It will only distance console gamers from it.

DragonbornZ720d ago

It's a bit of both. They really need to work on their messages more before announcing so it won't get confused. It doesn't help that people are ready to jump at anything slightly negative on the internet, but you know they gotta get the message down beforehand.
I'm glad hes not afraid to talk about stuff tho. You know, good or bad.


I don't see that as a bad thing.

"I do [read the tweets], and some times I say things that aren’t the smartest things to say, but I listen."

Man's trying to help is all.

Death720d ago Show
Septic719d ago Show
indysurfn719d ago Show
Christopher719d ago

Or it's perhaps that instead of coming out when they have all the answers, Microsoft announces something without the ability to answer the questions. What they should do is hold off on announcing things until they are able to answer things that the public will obviously want to know.

freshslicepizza719d ago (Edited 719d ago )

the reason why they need to clarify over and over again is people love to over-react. on top of that you have a collection of anti-xbox/microsoft people you need to filter through.

the internet is full of pessimistic people who have made it their mandate to criticize everything. instead of seeing the possibilities they want to talk about the worst case scenarios and hope others join in on their negative smear campaigning.

phil spencer has a great job. he gets to see where technology is taking gaming and sometimes he might say something that others will take the wrong way. what is clear is microsoft intends on being a major player in the gaming sector whether people like it or not.

we have also witnessed how consoles have become more and more complex with hard drives and updates. meanwhile the pc space has become easier and easier to manage. so of course there will be some cross-breeding of the two. it's just that microsoft is in a position to support both fields. that's why i don't understand that since they are bringing xbox one games to windows it somehow means the xbox loses it's identity. does nintendo bringing it's ip's over to the portable space and sony doing the same mean their consoles lose their identity?

donthate719d ago


MS is moving into a feedback dialogue with consumers about what they want. They air out their vision, and will get some criticism and some will overreact as evident here, but ultimately they will make the choices the consumers are asking for.

It is better than designing something completely closed off from the world and hope that it will be accepted.

This is also how more modern software companies develop software using Agile methodology, but it is just now applied to product development.

This is also why MS can move so fast compared to the competition.

Kingthrash360719d ago

I don't think people overreact. I think people just don't trust ms. That's nobody's fault but ms.

SniperControl719d ago (Edited 719d ago )


"This is also why MS can move so fast compared to the competition"

LMAO, MS have been late to to market with every bit of technology they've done, MP3 players, phones, tablets, consoles, console peripherals, gfwl, they have failed on so many levels.

The only feedback ms listen to is the lack of kerching kerching on thier cash register.

u4one719d ago Show
Mr Pumblechook719d ago

Spencer denies those rumours of an upgradable Xbox One. But all but confirms an XBO with a spec bump.

My guess is that XBO Plus will be revealed at E3 and will be compatible with the Oculus Rift.

rainslacker719d ago

Maybe for a few of the things he mentioned, but for the others could you state how the things that MS keeps clarifying has been misinterpreted by the community or deliberately spun?

Or maybe some of the people who gave you a well said could do so, because some of those things were not misinterpreted, but actually disliked for practical and principal reasons.

Here's my take

1. TV: People didn't care

2-3. Online/Kinect: People understood fine, MS couldn't sell it as a positive.

4. MS overstated it's use and abilities at the present time, and it's use and abilities for the forseeable future. People got tired of it.

5. DX12: Think there was some mininterpretation by both MS and the forum goers

4-5 redux: Both topics seem to ping pong on the PR scale from one extreme to the other...we're either supposed to be super excited about it, or we should keep our expectations in check.

6. Kinda feel they try too hard to hide things, but MS is mostly responsible for their own spin here.

7. MS definately misrepresented halolen's abilities in their E3 demo, and thaty haven't spent a lot of time clarifying it.

8. So few details, I would hope there would be some clarification. Easy for everyone to be misinformed when there's no info...because even the "informed"(by inference to your context) are just as clueless as the rest of us.

I'll also add in their used games policy at the beginning of the gen if you care to take a stab at how we were misinformed there.

KwietStorm719d ago

If that overly vocal minority didn't say anything, Don Mattrick would still be in charge, with Wii U in second place.

indysurfn718d ago

Septic. Do you comprehend what OPEN means? It is talking about DEVELOPMENT, NOT STORE!
90% of the time Microsoft has used the word OPEN it is the NAME of the development technology strategy.
Plus there is always a FEE! This is MICROSOFTS explanation of it on there own development for MSDN site!


Do you honestly think the word OPEN for the xboxone mean they are no longer controlling what gets published on one will stop paying a licensing to Microsoft for publishing games on the console?

Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony make money by charging a fee for publishing games on the consoles. So obviously OPEN is not a word used here to denote buying something like playstore. It is talking about DEVELOPMENT technology.

They are playing on WORDS more specifically a name: OPEN. Common sense will tell you that they had this all worked out since the DRM, and announcement failure of the xboxone.


+ Show (16) more repliesLast reply 718d ago
Aloy-Boyfriend720d ago (Edited 720d ago )

Exactly what Fox said. He and greenberg talk a lot. Just look at all the baba yaga he said couple days ago about how we should care about user base and not sales. Pretty convienient huh

But also don't blame consumers on their bad explanation of things. Their DRM plans and shit were pretty clear for everyone to complain. Less words, more actions

slavish0720d ago Show
Septic719d ago

Wtf are you on about? He talks a lot? He just clarified all the misconceptions perpetuated by people like you who have zero positive interest in Xbox. But youre just recycling old news like DRM?

I don't blame consumers for any bad explanation, I blame fanboys for pretend concern and frankly, chatting crap. At least Spencer doesn't constantly spout tripe...we can appreciate that no?

FlexLuger719d ago Show
n4rc719d ago

They were clear huh? Then how come you still dont understand it?

BattleAxe719d ago

There are too many people on sites like this who have interpreted news on Microsoft's hardware and software plans into something that has never been said by anyone, except people who are trying to get hits on their website by perpetuating rumors.

The funny thing is that anytime an Xbox article comes up with news about future hardware or software, there are always lots of people who don't like Microsoft, who flood the comments section with negative comments and spin. Time to grow up people!

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 719d ago
Azzanation719d ago

Aslong as MS continue to make great games, it shouldn't matter what you play them on. Hardware is just hardware with a name attach to it.

NeoGamer232719d ago

That is because they are doing something different in all these spaces then most of the console competition.

It is bad media reporting and fanboyism that is forcing MS to clarify things.

1) Consoles need to be more than just games to appeal to a broader audience. Digital TV, Music, and Video are all things Sony is embracing as well. Gaming press and fanboys seem to miss this fact and make a big stink about MS being in this space.
2) Always online has been a growing trend since this generation started. Games are becoming more online dependent. Look at Sony's biggest 3rd party/indie deals and they are all about being online all the time. Destiny, No Man's Sky, Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront, etc. But gaming media and fanboys ignore this fact that the most popular games they play almost all the time are online all the time. So online DRM is bad even though the games are always online.
3) Kinect as a mandatory purchase was simply a bad mistake MS made just like Sony made a bad mistake last gen by going to left field and creating a full new architecture with the cell processor.
4) MS has been using and evolving the cloud as the generation has progressed. Their use of it has been consistent and increasing. They are innovating here which is a good thing. It is mostly console gaming media and fanboys that try and downplay the cloud.
5) DX12. It is idiotic, developers, gaming media, and fanboys who talk up/down DX12 as a performance change for games. Not Microsoft. The only reason they need to clarify here is because of ridiculous rumours as to what DX12 is and is not.
6) Timed Exclusive deals. The really exclusivity of games is always a discussion for gaming media and fanboys. And all publishers are often clarifying this. FF VII remake, Oddworld, Octodad, Rocket League, Shenmue 3, the Call of Duty DLC, Batman DLC, Destiny DLC have all had the timing, content, and exclusivity of their stuff clarified from Sony/the publishers as well.
7) HoloLens has been managed well. They have come out and said that this is not a gaming first tech. All of the first demos were not related to gaming. But they have shown its applicability to gaming. As for VR. They have nothing and have only shown that they support the third party VR community and VR users on PC will be able to do stuff on their VR related to the console. It is gaming media and fanboys that are constantly comparing MS with Sony on this topic that is the issue. Not the MS take on the subject. If Sony had not pursued VR this topic would not come up at all.
8) Consoles are PCs today. The physical architecture of consoles is exactly the same as PCs. MS did not say at any point that consoles would allow gamers to open up them and replace components. It is the gaming press and fanboys who came to that conclusion. MS again only has to clarify because of the rampant imagination of the gaming press and fanboys.

The XB story this generation has been one of evolution and change. Unlike the Sony story which is, "just do the same". VR is the only place where Sony is really changing anything. MS should be applauded for trying to innovate and change in many areas. Some of these changes failed like Kinect, but, some are long term strategic wins as well.

MS is doing fine to me, I like that they are trying to do stuff. I can't say Sony is putting much effort in right now to create more innovation on consoles.

blackout719d ago

And that's a wrap.

Well siad.

rainslacker719d ago

1) I can agree with that, however, when the primary focus at the reveal was on that aspect, it tends to piss people off who want to know how they'll be playing games. Looking in another direction at Sony, they told us about all sorts of social media features, which was fairly new for consoles, but every single one of those features was about how it relates to playing games. MS just talked about TV, and how it relates to TV.

2)May be a growing trend, but it's a far cry to go from mandatory online for software titles, to making it necessary across the board. Some of this was related to their used games policy to make it work, which was just as bad in it's implementation, making the always online requirement also unnecessary and bad.

3) Agree with MS inclusion, Sony at least made a new architecture to try and improve gaming. The CELL is amazing at processing routines typical in gaming, and the PS3 CELL blows away the x86 in current consoles. Most of that has been offloaded to GPU Compute now though. Sony's mistake was not discussing it with developers first to see what their thoughts were on it.

4)Yes, they're making it better. But they drastically overstated what it could accomplish right from the beginning.

5) Agree overall, but MS itself has seemed to ping pong on this topic a bit. Phil at least has said people should keep their expectations in check for consoles, and he's stood fast to that as far as I can tell, with most of the clarifying stopping after that. So yeah, been mostly forum/media baiting.

6) I don't feel MS did anything really any different than the other companies have. They just changed the PR statement surrounding it.

7) Only problem I have is that they are showcasing it as a gaming tech device, with it taking a substantial amount of time at E3, in a demo which was nowhere close to what it's capable of. It was dishonest, and MS hasn't been too keen on "clarifying" that it couldn't perform like what was shown. Other than that, MS has been pretty upfront that it isn't meant to be a gaming peripheral outside the tech junkies niche.

rainslacker719d ago

8) I would agree, most of the info is provided 3rd hand by assumption and presumption. MS should clarify this though, but I'd imagine they won't until they have more details on implementation. in this particular case, I think MS should have just kept their mouths shut, because the idea isn't being discussed well, and hypothetical scenario's discussion is mostly idiotic or so black and white that everything is seen as an attack, instead of the hypothetical it actually is.

That being said, even the Xbox fan boys are coming to their own conclusions due to lack of info, and I feel they are just as in the wrong as the other sides of the fence.

"The XB story this generation has been one of evolution and change. Unlike the Sony story which is, "just do the same"."

Hmmm...and which one seems to be the preference of consumers? A solid console which does what it's supposed to, or a console which is built up as more than it is with vague promises of a better future? Are consumers supposed to just accept that the X1 will be better one day, or go for the console that now is better?

See, to the consumer, they don't care what a console can do years in the future...if we're lucky, they care what it can do when they drop that $350-400 for it and get it home.

I applaud MS for thinking ahead, and attempting to innovate, doesn't mean that their innovation is immune to criticism and scrutiny, and the less info they give, the chances for criticism and scrutiny are just going to be higher. If MS announced things way in advance of when they will implement it, then that's on them, and I for one would rather a console sell on it's value to the consumer at the time they buy it, with the future stuff being a close second, and to date, most of MS innovation seems to be well into the future.

Zeref719d ago (Edited 719d ago )

The negativity comes mostly from Sony fanboys.

I see no reason why its a bad thing.

They aren't turning xbox into a PC

Its a console that can be upgraded, It will still be a box that sits next to your TV. you can bet that it's going to be really simple to upgrade. Much easier than a PC. It's not gonna be like you can put just any random GPU in it. I imagine a modular design kinda like Razers Project Christine. Except not that big but still the same idea.

How long have people been asking for consoles to be upgradeable? Now that Microsoft wants to do it, its a bad thing? I bet if it was Sony all you would hear is praise.

rainslacker719d ago (Edited 719d ago )

Technically, they're turning Xbox into a Windows device, but I guess it's all PR semantics, since it will likely always function like an Xbox.

"How long have people been asking for consoles to be upgradeable?"

I dunno. Every time I see the subject come up, it's usually considered a pretty bad idea by most....typically citing prior attempts from generations past.

However, the idea of forward compatibility was never usually part of the discussion.

I personally would be skeptical and critical of Sony unless they presented the actual details on implementation so I could make a more informed opinion on the matter. The idea is good for putting forth different hypotheticals, the actual implementation is what will be the determining fact on if it's good or bad...or just neutral(which is also a thing)...or both good and bad(which is also a thing).

I see a lot of people praising the idea as innovative...such as yourself...and I feel at the present time, that's just as bad as dismissing the idea outright. Two ends of the same spectrum.

@donthate below

No, a vision is an ideal that is meant to be strive for. The vision is great, but without an idea on how to achieve that vision, the vision is useless. They're vague because there are multiple ways to reach one's vision.

All a company needs to do to not have to go and clarify things is to make it clear what the goals are to actually achieve that vision. That helps both the company to achieve the vision, as well as to allow others to share in the companies vision with support.

Right now, MS seems to have a goal, with no real vision attached to it....or at least one they're not sharing with us right now.

donthate719d ago

If anything it indicates a sign that the company is conveying a vision. A vision is exactly that, somewhat vague and confusing.

A company without a vision on the other hand, doesn't need to clarify anything, and takes no risk. It will also rarely innovate.

mark_parch719d ago

i absolutly guarantee in 10 years time everything microsoft is trying to do will be the norm and nobody will care. things like always online and digital only content. the problem is they are trying to force it on people and people don't like change

gapecanpie719d ago

Who gives a s**t???? other then the people who just hate MS and Xbox for whatever 3rd grade dumb childish reason they have,people who don't own a Xbox and never had any plans to get one! At the end of the day MS will do what MS want too and they still going to make a crap load as Xbox was never MS bread and butter to begin with. MS going this route is fine by them cause they really don't have nothing to lose as opposed if Sony tried this they would go bankrupted.

GameNameFame719d ago

Here are the fact.

-console without fixed hardware loses its benefit
-multiple skus means less efficiency.
-no or far less exclusives

And xbox fans desperately want to hope that xbox didn't lose its value.


Fin_The_Human719d ago

Is it just me it does it seem like the Sony fans are the ones that are upset about this rather than the PC and and XBox fans.

I am glad Phil is not listening to these type of want to be Xbox owners cause the real fans are 100℅ onboard with this idea.

People fair change we get that but in a world where technology is changing faster than a chameleon on acid then just let MS do what they want.

Sony is here for you fans that just want a simple console to plug and play and for the rest of us who want something new then what MS is proposing is awesome news

Fin_The_Human719d ago

Also it's funny how we have so much armchair business owners on N4G that no how to run a multi billion dollar company and no better than the heads of Xbox and Phil

GameNameFame719d ago (Edited 719d ago )


Even phil said this move was for Windows 10.

And what desperate argument it is for xbox fanboys to say losing exclusive is good cause billion dollar compay knows what its doing.

LOl. Say that to DRM policy and Kinect. Clearly they are billion dollar company and they know what they were doing.

Only xbox fans will celebrate losing exclusives and losing to PC.

Fin_The_Human719d ago

Typos above **know**

I was actually one of those gamers that wnatd MS to follow through with the original XB1 plan but a bunch of cry babies thought different.

Hopefully ms stick to it this time around.

UnHoly_One719d ago

He didn't need to clarify anything.

He meant exactly what everyone that's not an idiot thought he meant.

Where anyone ever came up with upgrading parts of the console like a PC I have no idea.

LastcenuryRob719d ago

......yawn. Whatever you say little boy, whatever you say.

3-4-5719d ago

To be fair, basically all companies are having to clarify nearly everything now because journalism as a whole isn't as quality as it used to be.

There are a lot of stupid people who jump to conclusions way too fast ACTING as real journalists.

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 718d ago
bf000777966720d ago

xbox is following the steam machine route

720d ago
720d ago Replies(6)
dRanzer719d ago

Phil let me clarfied this.
let us put away pc for moment and talk about xbox market,i truly believe you think like a businessman and not like Gamer or xbox fan.
when i see ps4 slightly better hardware,and the big exclusives that comes to this console i dont know what is e point now to buy xbox one when i have ps4&PC at home and all your "Xbox Exlusives" are now comming to pc.
You sir are ruiend Consoles market and the XBOX brand, that for sure.

vinniects719d ago

Every time you buy a Microsoft game for the pc, Phil thanks you for supporting xbox

gamer1138719d ago

As a businessman he'll be looking at the numbers which tell him MOST people who may have a PC/PS4 combination feel no need to buy an xbox one for even 2,3 or 4 exclusive games. Therefore if you can't bring your customers to you, go to them. That is the reality.

Now if this had been a day one feature when the consoles launched in 2013 things may have looked different. PC users may have bought the Xbox based on the idea they could switch between the two with cross saves, cross buy and cross play. However it didn't play out like that.

In fact it is often speculated the Xbox One was not ready to launch when it did. This ONE ecosystem vision they had clearly goes back a long way, things just didn't fall into place for them.

jwillj2k4719d ago (Edited 719d ago )


As soon as his vision becomes a reality, there will be no difference between Xbox and PC. Xbox is the brand. They will absolutely combine the PC sales with their 360 and xone sales for an overall xbox sales figure, which may put them on top in terms of sales holistically. Everyone will know its not apples to apples, but these numbers will please their shareholders, while giving the perception that xbox is a more powerful brand overall. Just like @vinniects said, as soon as you buy a 360/PC/Xone game, Phil will thank you for supporting Xbox.

donthate719d ago

AS a business man, I would look at the market and say look at all these PC gamers. If I can get them to play our fantastic IPs, then when they are ready to consider a console for their living room, they will choose Xbox. Why?

Because they are familiar with the franchises, and because they are already invested into the MS platform due to cross-buy and cross-play! Consumers will also see that their purchase today, will carry with them to the next console and PC.

That is a compelling value!

meatnormous719d ago (Edited 719d ago )

If Microsoft would just put their releases on steam, I would consider them. I have a one that hardly gets any playtime as it is. If the exclusives go to the pic, I'll get them there for better frames and resolution as long as they are steam releases. I also hope that the Xbox app will do 360 emulation on pc, but that's a pipe dream. I upgrade my pc every two years because I enjoy building them but most of the time I'm replacing components that are still good. I can't let go of my 7990 though.

Azzanation719d ago

Xbox game aren't coming to PC, PC can mean a lot of things, a MAC is a PC. Xbox games are coming to Windows 10, so be prepared to have Win 10 ready and to use the Win 10 store. Also you will need an Xbox account. You don't need an Xbox to support Xbox.

Thanks for supporting them.

Christopher719d ago

Windows 10 can run on a Mac... Xbox games are going to PC.

I get what you were trying to say, but you're trying to spin this way too hard and made a mistake in thinking that Windows can only run on machines that start out as Windows machines. That's just not true.

dkp23719d ago

Because many people are not going to invest in a pc rig two or three times the cost of a console. They can the same experience via console by plugging and playing wit graphical limitations. But the games a redeveloped with console in mind do graphics will still be good on console.

It's not like. Oh it's on pc I'll just get a ps4 and a 600-1k pc to play a game.

In the end ms benefits

meatnormous719d ago

I'm a person with a 2k rig. There are more of us than most people think. Computers are hobbies to people and being able to play Xbox exclusives on a pc brings value to Windows 10. Seeing how buttery smooth frames are on pc is hard to ignore, I'm talking above 60 fps. Consoles are great, but the pc can match or be better in every way. Exclusives are what defines a console, that one can't miss game can make a console very successful. Just because pc gaming is more expensive, don't think for a second it can't be successful.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 719d ago