Phil Spencer: “Our Largest Base Is Still 360 Players;” Halo 5 an “Important Milestone” for Xbox One
During the Halo 5 Live broadcast, Xbox Division Head Honcho Phil Spencer talked about the game, what it means for Xbox One and for the Xbox fans (including those that haven’t made the jump to the current generation yet), and also about the importance of feedback mixed with Microsoft’s own innovation.
Spencer begun by explaining what he feels makes Halo 5: Guardians stand out among the rest of the line-up.
“For me Halo 5, the attention to detail 343 has put into the multiplayer system in Halo, is something we wanted to do better than in Halo 4, something we wanted to perfect. I love what they did in Warzone, I love the purity of what they’ve done in arena. I think they focused on something they wanted to make a hallmark of Halo 5. I think they delivered on that.”
He continued by mentioning that Xbox Live, people and friends playing together in co-op and against each other, is “what gaming should be about.”
Then he moved on to explain the importance of feedback mixed with the Xbox team’s own innovation:
“The feedback loop between us and the fans of Xbox, the fans of Halo and of any of our franchises, is foundational to what we do at Xbox. Today we’re listening to what people have to say… We obviously shipped Halo 4, we shipped Master Chief Collection… And as people are going into Halo 5, they’re giving us feedback about what they wanted to see in the game.
We obviously have our own ideas, and I think the mix of what the community wants and maybe some unexpected things that we try to go and innovate on, is really what makes these experiences magical. You want to delightefully surprise people with the innovation you put in the game. And that connection with the fans, the feedback they give us, is critical to where we’re taking the platform.”
Spencer also talked about his feelings on the launch of Halo 5:
“It’s easy to say that an Xbox generation never really starts until you have a purpose-built Halo game, and this is Halo 5 from the ground up for Xbox One launching. It’s an important milestone for us with Xbox One. The game looks great, feels great, 60 frames per second and it feels for smooth when I’m playing.
I think 343 Industries has done an amazing job with the device, with the hardware, working with the controllers, the new Elite controller, these great controllers here. It just feels so great.
And to have those internal teams that are giving you feedback about what your platform needs to do in order to support a triple-A game like Halo 5, that feedback loop that we get for internals and externals, that is what to lead a platform is all about.”
Finally, Spencer explained how the line-up this fall is tailored to the Xbox fans, with particular attention to those Xbox 360 players that still haven’t made the jump:
“Our largest base out there right now is still 360 players. When we thought about this fall, we thought about what we could do for the 360 players. We obviously started with backwards compatibility announce at E3, we had the re-release of Gears 1, old Rare games with Rare Replay, but Halo, Halo is so important. Without Halo Xbox isn’t here.
To be able to bring Halo with backwards compatibility, with Gears, with a Forza game… This line-up for us was really tailored for the Xbox fan, this fall. And I’m really proud of the way the team stepped up. This is what it’s all about.”
Now that we have a release date for the new Xbox One experience and backwards compatibility, and Halo 5 Guardians is nearly out in the wild, it’ll be interesting to see if the “old guard” still playing on Xbox 360 will finally move in droves to the current generation.