Xbox boss Phil Spencer has heard of skeptics. They think that what he does with Xbox means that Microsoft is giving up consoles or even becoming a third party. That's wrong, he told me during an extensive Los Angeles interview last week where we discussed his Xbox vision, the recently announced potential gambling deal between Sony and Microsoft, and whether he would ever want to put Gears of War on PlayStation 4.
[The following copy is slightly edited for clarity.]
Stephen Tottillo, Kotaku : I want to talk first at platform level. I would describe what you and your team are doing these days as "refreshingly radical" about how you run a platform. You've really robbed many walls and done many things that in the past would have been considered things the platform owner could not do. As a thought experiment I thought that if PlayStation does what you do last year, God of War will come out day and date on PS4 and PC.
Phil Spencer, Xbox: Tottillo: I would not necessarily have to pay $ 60 for it. I could get it as part of a subscription that brought me a lot of games. And at some point in the future I can play it without even needing PlayStation by just giving it to me.
Spencer: Yes. Tottillo: I'm curious how far you see how this vision expands because I know some people wonder, "Should the Xbox even have a box?" In the long run. Do all of his games need to be on one device? Where does this happen?
Spencer: We use this subtitle both internally and externally: We play the games you want, with the people you want, and say to the devices [you want] that you can think of "Everywhere". We actually think that two billion gamers on the planet, the size of the business they play today is that for us the industry continues to grow as we reduce the friction to the people who come.
The script that always makes me crazy is, I am a parent, you are a parent, we live in the same neighborhood, we have kids, you go to Best Buy and accidentally buy Xbox. I'm going to Best Buy and I accidentally come out with PlayStation. Our kids want to play together Minecraft and can not. I think, as a whole, as a gaming industry, how does that work? It changes, not just us. We made a great breakthrough with Nintendo. But it started when we'd deliver our first Xbox and PC games at the same time a few years ago. “/>
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There is always the core to come back [and says]: "You're reducing You have to buy Xbox." Actually, I find that people actually play on the console because they like to play the TV on the couch with a controller in their hands and that's more than an experience trying to sell an individual device, to cut it down (19659003) Tottillo: But you can make enough money to do what you do It's a business
Spencer: That's easy. The business sells software and services, but the business is not how many consoles you sell, the consoles are not where you make the profit on this side of the business, which is where the whole: "Who sells more consoles" at any one time, as the root type , who does well in business, just is not true, You have other companies that go into a game and that not even console as part of their equation. It's all about how many games people play. And how many people spend playing these games and how often they play. So if you had your way, would you sell Gears to PS4 in September?
Spencer: I think the experience we bring to the family room with the Xbox and focusing on things like compatibility and focus on things like cross-game is actually relevant to where we see growing games, so we're focusing on consoles and the cost of money and resources investing in Scarlett. The same thing is on the computer.
So, today people say, "Are you going to be a third party?" Whatever that means. The idea that we are a platform is still true and we think about how this platform infrastructure can grow. And we believe that having the world's most powerful console that has a big Xbox at home is crucial.