Console Sales Aren't a Goal For Microsoft Says Phil Spencer

On the latest episode of Animal Talking, Spencer spoke at length about the Series X, including its design and the services that would come with it

August 17, 2020

Phil Spencer, the executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, has said that Microsoft isn’t putting a focus on console sales for the Xbox Series X.

Appearing on Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking (alongside award-winning musician Lisa Loeb and part-time Smash commentator Dylan Sprouse), Spencer spoke at length on a number of topics including his own personal gaming journey and what the process for delaying Halo Infinite was like as an executive.

While those two topics are interesting themselves (I implore anyone reading to listen to Spencer talk about Halo Infinite, it’s genuinely insightful stuff), what really stood out was what Spencer had to say about selling Xbox Series X consoles. “If that was our approach we wouldn’t put our games on PC,” said Spencer. “We wouldn’t put our games on Xbox One, we wouldn’t do xCloud and allow people to play games on their phones.”

This explains the enormous shift in marketing that the entire Xbox brand has gone through. Instead of seeing ads for the Xbox Series X, we’re getting more for Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. It also explains why some titles that were historically console exclusive are now making their way to PC. It makes no difference what platform they’re sold on because a game made by an Xbox Games Studios developer will still bring in profits for Xbox and Microsoft.

In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard an Xbox executive change the usual Xbox position when it comes to hardware. Just last month Matt Booty, the head of Microsoft’s game studios, said that “We’re at a point where the technology is out of the way” in regards to the Series X.

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Xbox’s future, or at least certainly the future of the Xbox Series X, will be as a platform for other gaming services. Which, in all, seems like a great decision. It may even be the next modern step for consoles, as they move away from the archaic subject of console wars. There’s no point in fans fighting them when the companies making consoles aren’t focused on sales or specs.

The Xbox Series X is still set to launch this upcoming November, although no specific date has been set.

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