Xbox's Phil Spencer Talks About Successes in 2018, Comments on Outlook for 2019
In a new interview, Xbox's Phil Spencer reflects on Microsoft's biggest achievements of 2018 while also discussing his optimism for the next calendar year.
There’s no denying that the Xbox One has underperformed this console generation, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from making moves that will set them up for success in the long-term. In fact, the year that was 2018 seemed to bring with it some of the biggest changes that the Xbox brand has made in years with the purchase of multiple new studios headlining these moves.
In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer spoke a bit about 2018 and the successes that he and the company had on the year. “It has been a transformational year for Xbox on many fronts. We advanced our position with Xbox Game Pass by making our first-party content available in the service at launch, and added seven studios to Microsoft Studios, bringing new talent and new perspective,” Spencer said of 2018. “I’m incredibly proud of the team for delivering the Xbox Adaptive Controller to make gaming accessible to people with limited mobility and also our vision to make gaming accessible in new ways to more people with Project xCloud. With that said, we have much we want to accomplish and our entire team is excited about the year ahead,” he went on.
As Spencer touched on, the Xbox Adaptive Controller ended up being one of the biggest headlines for Microsoft in 2018 as it was a peripheral that gave many the chance to play games who wouldn’t be able to in conventional methods. Spencer spoke a bit more about this moment specifically and the holiday ad campaign that is currently running to promote the product.
“There have been so many amazing moments as I look back over the past year but I think it would have to be watching the Microsoft holiday campaign come together and learning Owen’s story. Owen is a real person and a real gamer. To hear the story of him, his family and his friends — It’s what makes this industry and art form so great,” Spencer stated. “The campaign carries the line, ‘when everybody plays, we all win,’ and we firmly believe that. As we look forward there is still much we can do as an industry to ensure we are making gaming accessible, inclusive, safe and fun for the two billion gamers on the planet today and the next two billion,” he concluded. If you haven’t seen the ad for yourself, it really is a heartwarming commercial that shows the power of what Microsoft has created with this new device.
Even though Microsoft has successes like the adaptive controller in 2018 though, there’s no denying that the first-party offerings on Xbox this year were light. As for what is lined up next year, Spencer expressed optimism about what they have in the pipeline. “ will be a great year for games. I’m excited for what we have coming including Crackdown 3, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Gears 5 as well as the incredible line-up of games from the industry that will look and play best on Xbox One,” Spencer said of the coming twelve months.
Hopefully, the games Spencer touched on will all turn out to be great solid entries in the Xbox lineup. It’s also worth mentioning that he didn’t include Halo Infinite in that lineup for 2019, so you might not want to get your hopes up too high if you thought 343’s next installment in the long-running shooter franchise would be dropping next year.
All in all, 2018 was a good year for Xbox and Spencer even if it may not have resulted in direct results. Still, Microsoft has continued to turn this ship around after stumbling out of the gate in 2013 with the Xbox One. It seems like only a matter of time before the Xbox that many have been holding out hope for over the past few years shows up.