Xbox boss Phil Spencer on the future of gaming: “The business isn’t how many consoles you sell”

The head of Xbox just unveiled a new console, but Phil Spencer isn’t too worried about selling you one. “I don’t need to sell any specific version of the console in order for us to reach our business goals,” the told Verge in an interview yesterday, the day after Microsoft held its annual E3 keynote.

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Krangs_Uncle675d ago

No, it's how many interviews you give a year.

mikeslemonade675d ago

He’s right. This is coming from Sony fan:

1. Microsoft
2. Sony
3. Stadia
4. Nintendo

bouzebbal675d ago

Funny it's not what they have been screaming last gen.. Zero honesty

mikeslemonade675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

Lol keep doubting, I’ve been right every generation on who won.

Microsoft will price out the competition by letting you play new games for $5-$10 a month.

I just got Xbox game pass ultimate for 3 years at $150.

And since 2018 Microsoft has bought out 15 studios. Microsoft has lots of cash just sitting on the side line.

I’m a Sony fan at heart but their business model is obsolete. Traditional console game is dying.

AspiringProGenji675d ago

I didn’t join this site Yesterday @mike

Stop the bullshit

darthv72675d ago

Hey bouz... were the same people running things last gen too?

Different team, different dream.

rainslacker675d ago


Yeah. The new team isn't doing as well in terms of sales. What's your point?

Silly Mammo675d ago


Problem is the dream seems to keep changing.

darthv72675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

@rain I cant remember what sales were like before Phil but i can only assume there have been more units sold since his promotion than prior. My point is that under new management, they managed to turn things around to a respectful 40+ million units sold. Who knows how bad things would have been if nothing changed.

@silly, actually Phils dream has always been the same. To increase the number of engaged players for xbox services / games. He has done pretty good so far. Expanding that reach into PC and mobile is the next logical step.

xX-oldboy-Xx675d ago

darthv72 - More units since Phil has been at the helm? Remove Kinect, price cuts, bundles, 3 console revisions - 3 CONSOLE REVISIONS - I had to had to say that twice. Is that a record for a single gen? Perhaps ms has won something after all.

Unspoken675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

Here come the Sony fanboys into every Xbox article. lol

Phil isn't incorrect in anything he is saying. And yes if they had high sales numbers he would talk about it. Both are correct and he would still say the focus is on software and services. Satya changed all that years ago but these children don't have half a brain to remember any of it. Microsoft has turned around many times and have increased profits even after trying multiple different innovative ideas and products.

They always scream doom and gloom. lol

Ju675d ago

Well, I give MS that. With Sony not showing up they can at least show up in every interview.

675d ago
Sophisticated_Chap675d ago

@ AspiringProGengi

Enough with the nonsense.

UltraNova675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

I'm sure MS and Phil are giving their fans what they want. Just as I'm sure we non-MS fans "dont get it" wink wink*. I mean after the 360, xbox fans were fed up with all those xbox games and just wanted services and more services until their eyes popped out and their wallets drained! /S

Damn the double standards and irony is off the charts with you people...

Ceaser9857361675d ago (Edited 675d ago )


Thanks to MS for backing up Xbox because it wasn't doing well. Sony aint that powerful like MS but still doing better in Gaming department. Had Sony had that kind of Money things would have been different.

and its obvious now it doesnt matter how many console it sold for MS because PLAY ANYWHERE happened so they are very much focused on GAAS and software sales.. Most importantly GAAS
That way MS is making good money.. Once GAAS is available more than Xbox and PC platform they will make more... like the Netflix of Gaming..

Sony will be where it is and they are doing exceptionally well and they will continue to improve grow and do much better

pwnmaster3000675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

Yooo mikeslemonade is a legend out here on n4g. Put some respect on this dudes name lol.

mikeslemonade675d ago

You guys just have oldhead thinking.

And like someone said Microsoft is the closest thing to the Netflix of gaming. We had pretends like Onlive, Strydyr, and Stadia... but Microsoft has the connections, money, and fanbase to actually make it into the Netflix of gaming. And Netflix by the way is going down. It’s gonna be “Disney and Chill” sooner or later.

Sony is gonna sell slightly less than what they did this gen, it’s just gonna be a downward trend for traditional consoles.

badz149675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

HAHAHAHA should do stand up comedy!

see this:

PSN alone made more money than the whole xbox and Nintendo combined last year!! just PSN, not even the entire PS division.

I guess next Phil will say “The business isn’t about how much revenue you generate”

nowitzki2004675d ago


Coming from MS fanboy supreme

1. PS4
2. Switch
3. Stadia
4. Nintendo WiiU
5. Xbox One

Facts are facts

Army_of_Darkness674d ago

For ms it's not about console sales anymore because they are way behind ps4 sales... So now it's about how many sucka... Umm, errr.. I mean people fall for their monthly game pass.. And after seeing their e3 show I see not point in even getting their next gen console to begin with... Better off with a Sony and Nintendo combo.

mikeslemonade674d ago

Lol fall for the gamepass..

Some of the games that will be there day 1:
Age of Empires remaster
Outer lands
Blair Witch
Pshychonaughts 2

And that’s just year 1. I paid $150 for 3 years. How am I getting tricked. You’re the ones who are getting “tricked” when you buy Outerlands for $60.

Potnoodle999674d ago

@Bouzzebbal nor at the start of this gen 😂

+ Show (19) more repliesLast reply 674d ago
sixthelement675d ago ShowReplies(3)
lelo2play675d ago

Then he already won. Flawless victory.

russo121675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

These executives can talk trash whatever they want, I sincerely don't get the point what he's trying to achieve. Another re-read and it seems he wants an ecosystem to be console agnostic.

gravedigger675d ago

Phil Spencer at E3 2 days ago:
"Xbox consoles are vital to us"

Surely if they manage to outsell PS5 during launch, they will scream out loud about that

alb1899675d ago

He didn't say consoles aren't vital but even Sony know that consoles won't be that important in the near future

675d ago
SyntheticForm675d ago

Microsoft isn't competing with Sony because they don't 'need' to. That's why you're not seeing the story-driven, narrative heavy exclusives the likes of which Sony thrive on. Microsoft can continue doing what they're doing and mosey along just peachy. They're perfectly comfortable.

Sony may be crushing Microsoft in the first party games dept, but they're not crushing them financially - not by a long shot, and that's what Phil is basically saying. They don't need to match Sony in anything; consoles, games, etc because 'their' business model is 'working' for 'them.'

For people who care about games this sucks, but for Microsoft? Pshh.

Dark_Knightmare2675d ago

But comparing just their gaming divisions does show Sony crushing them

xX-oldboy-Xx675d ago

Synthetic - Sony is absolutely crushing ms xbox division when it comes to revenue. Sounds to me like they've already conceded defeat next gen. These are not the comments of a confident person.

sinspirit675d ago

This is Playstation versus XBox. Not Sony versus Microsoft. Keep that in mind. Microsoft's finances mean nothing about XBox's actual success. As can already be seen by still lacking substance and direction after almost 10 years.

Do you think it's okay for Microsoft to be comfortable? It's clear that this is their goal rather than providing industry leading games and content that they just want the constant influx of money through services and accessories. I don't think being comfortable is okay. That doesn't mean they have to rack their brains to do something. It just means they shouldn't be okay with their current status which is reliant on services that are enticing due to cost benefits rather than individual products that are enticing because of the quality of those products.

jznrpg675d ago

They aren’t competing with Sony anymore because they can’t win. They realized their faithful will buy anything they dish out and they couldn’t win so they shifted focus on fully on subs earlier than they planned . They wanted a bigger piece of the pie but are happy with spending less and making more .

Mr_Writer85675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

Just a quick note in 2018 Xbox Divison had record high revenue of £10b

PlayStation in the same year made £17b.

So they kinda are crushing them purely in the PlayStation vs Xbox. You have to include MS other business (Azure, Windows etc) to get the MS win over Sony.

But imo you're half right

They're not competing with Sony as I believe their long term goal is a new breed of publishing.

Think about it, atm game pass needs 3rd party games, that takes a chunk of money from MS.

But let's say in 5 years time MS have enough of their own content to phase out 3rd party games and not only offer value still, but take more profit.

Roughly before E3 there were 9m GP subs. All paying £4.99 a month.

That's £44m a month £538m a year.

Now let's just say all 9 million upgraded to GPU at £10.99 a month

That's now £98m a month and £1.8b a year.

In 10 years time, you may see an Xbox app on any sort of electronic device, phone, tablet, laptop, PC, TV, firesticks etc.

On that service is 300+ games all made/published by MS.

You have 40m subs. Even without price hikes etc that's £439m a month. £5.2b a year just selling games.

Publishers have their own store fronts on PC, but I think in the future most will have their own version of game pass.

As streaming becomes more viable, publishers will push their own content.

Much like Netflix vs Prime vs HBO vs Hulu vs Disney.

AspiringProGenji674d ago

Lol the xbox fans sure brag about MS finances a lot. You don’t care that MS is being crushed with games as long as they make money. You must be a fan of EA too

Realms674d ago (Edited 674d ago )

Yeah ok their business model moving forward will catch up with them, they are banking on game pass constant revenue stream but the low quality of the games available thru this service will be their down fall. We are already seeing this play out. Zero new AAA games have been announced by MS, I suspect this is intentional since they have no desire to pore resources into games that they will have to add to their service day one. Expect to get a ton of games with less quality to pad their gaming service library.

TheEnigma313674d ago

what does financially have to do with anything. The xbox division is not profitable at all. They are getting revenue off of windows and ms office 360.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 674d ago
Kiwi66675d ago

Maybe it would help if people didn't keep asking him for an interview

xX-oldboy-Xx675d ago

He is a grown man, he can say no. Maybe they ask because they know the chances of getting one is high.

Kiwi66675d ago

@oldboy but then people would complain about that

Kiwi66674d ago (Edited 674d ago )

Wait, so people say he does too many interviews and so i make a suggestion and people don't like that idea ?

gamer7804675d ago

you are right Krangs_Uncle, but thats just part of it, it's Impressions, Interviews speaking and listening to customers, Game Sales, Consoles Sales, DLC Sales, subcriptions to services, customer service, etc.

trooper_674d ago

Spencer is so full of crapola, lol.

itsmebryan674d ago

No, it's about how much money you make for a business. Now they have new money streams coming from their competition Sony and Nintendo. It think MS will do fine.

Jin_Sakai674d ago

Xbox boss Phil Spencer on the future of gaming: “The business isn’t about how many consoles you sell when you’re losing”


We all know you’d be bragging on Twitter left and right if you were winning.

alb1899674d ago

Time will open your eyes my friend. What was important yesterday isn't today. Talk to blockbuster and they will help you understand.

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antbolton89675d ago

If the Xbox One had sold 90 million units that's all they would talk about.

Brave_Losers_Unite675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

Yup. They can't admit that they are the most inferior out of the three. Isnt Switch going to pass them soon?

Darkborn675d ago

It should according to the numbers. Hell it might have already.


I might be getting a Switch here shortly. I have not bought an Nintendo system since Gameboy Advanced. My old ladys' been wanting a new Gameboy because her Gameboy color does not save files anymore. Was interested in getting the 3ds but why not just get the Switch mm'right?

Donnie81675d ago

If I’m not mistaken the Xbox has second place of this generation locked down. It passed the Wii U in sales years ago and I doubt it’s making a comeback

Pickledpepper675d ago

I'm not sure about inferior. They have a more powerful console and let's look at microsoft net worth and let's look at Sony's net worth.
I own all platforms but to call Microsoft inferior is a bit naive. If they do fall behind in sells with the next gen (which they probably will) I don't think it will worry them to much, very deep pockets.

NXFather675d ago

I am the best. I can admit that. Would you care to tell me the three? Oh my bad we just talking about video games. I could not pay one you to level with me on downtown there. Just tell me one thing anyone beat me on. If you're gonna say what are you talking about then there is no point responding. Just chalk it up a crazy person. I see how not one of you will bring it up in real life. We all see who did what? All the time.

RizBiz675d ago

@Monolithicide The Gameboy Colour doesn't save games, each individual game does. Unscrew the games she wants to play and replace the batteries.

Mr_Writer85674d ago


Nice spin, but it terms of competition the Switch is closing in, last gen or next gen means diddle squat.

Right now there are 3 consoles on sale and Xbox is close to coming 3rd.

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1-pwnsause-1675d ago

Aaron Greenberg would walk out of his room just to gloat about sales....

harmny675d ago (Edited 675d ago )


TacoTaco675d ago

It's not what they have today and it's not the reality of the situation, so stop saying things that Phil Spencer isn't even implying.

Do you know what a "business goal" is, to start? How about a point of reference... let's go with the company I work for. It's not doing so hot in its industry, and we lost quite a bit. We are not number one, not by a long shot. So, we have a business goal to, basically, "operate more efficiently."

We have done that last quarter. We're still not number one. Still not by a long shot. But guess what? Even though we didn't X the most Y, we still reached our business goal! Is that a concept you're capable of understanding?

rainslacker675d ago

But, your company isn't going around acting like they are number one, even when conceding that they aren't. Spencer may occasionally act humble, but they haven't done what they should have been doing all gen, and now they're talking about next gen as if this gen never happened.

There's a huge difference between recognizing your place, and pretending your place is more than it is when it comes to business. There are plenty of stores that aren't as successful as Amazon. It doesn't mean they are making as much as Amazon, or are as good. Rhetorical example, I'm not trying to say amazon is better than everyone else.

xX-oldboy-Xx675d ago

Taco Taco - So the business goal announced at the xbox one reveal, is that what you mean? Or do we change when our product doesn't sell as expected - "First to 10 million units win the gen" - Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb.

They've constantly looked at how they can make the most money with out addressing the elephant in the room.

Now they have some new studios, some ok, some good. But their plan for those studios is a worry. Matt Booty wants a game every 3 months when Scarlet is released.

They want to follow the Netflix model, do you realise how much shit is on Netflix?

NXFather675d ago


When did any God, Any of them send a prophet to lie about his rank. Or how about this. When did any God tell us lucifer or any devil is number three?

darthv72675d ago

90 million is nothing when there are billions of potential gamers out there from consoles to pc to mobile. By expanding the reach, they dont have to worry about sales. They just have to provide entertainment that keeps people engaged.

675d ago
rainslacker675d ago (Edited 675d ago )

So, you expect MS to have more than 90 million subscribers to their service?

I wonder what makes anyone believe that. Steam, the largest and most successful company on PC, only has around 90 million monthly users, and they're a more mainstream accepted form of gaming than these sub services or streaming services.

I'd be surprised if they even go over 20 million users by the end of next gen.

I'm tired of the console wars being fought based on things that have nothing to do with the consoles. If you want MS to win the services war, then fight that war, and stop relating it to traditional consoles or PC gaming. It's a different market, so as console gamers, why should we care one way or the other? We'll compare next gen using their console sales, and it won't matter who has the most used service. I know it won't matter to Xbox fan boys if Sony or Stadia have the most users, and my money is actually on Google because of their reach.

675d ago
S2Killinit674d ago

Evey new gen I go in with a mentality that I KNOW i’ll be supporting Playstation because of how great they support their consoles in the previous gen, but also with an open mind about xbox as a console i would buy if MS shows me why. But when MS opens its mouth about the future they envision for gaming, I remember why I dont support them anymore.

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alb1899675d ago

The thing is that everything change. MS has now so many ways to reach us that isn't anymore a thing of consoles sales. More important is how many people have good enough internet than how many consoles.

SyntheticForm675d ago


Microsoft's business model is totally different; Sony rely on their console sales much more than Microsoft.

It's more about how many people can Microsoft reach, and consoles aren't but 'one' vessel they can use to achieve that.