Phil Spencer: Console Wars are ‘Distasteful’

In an interview with Gamespot published today, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated: “the one thing that I probably find a little distasteful in the discourse around games is the divisiveness that people try to build between platforms.”

The interview’s main focus is Halo 5: Guardians, however questions towards the end revolve around general gaming topics. When asked if comfortable with where the current perception of the Xbox One is, Spencer replied, “No. The teams hear that from me all the time, because there’s so much more I think we can do, and the team’s so incredibly capable … The perception and reaction of the community, the Xbox fans stood with us through a time where I think they questioned maybe what this brand and leadership team was about. They’ve supported me. They’ve given me feedback through my transition into a new role, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

After that, when questioned on what keeps him up and night and what he next wants take on, Spencer responded regarding the debates that can ensue around consoles. “I know that’s not everybody, and it’s easy to find the pockets of that vitriol and kind of think that that is gaming, but I’m not going to embrace that. I’m going to actively push against that.

People sometimes will make fun of me that I mentioned Sony or I mentioned Nintendo. It’s not to placate anybody or make them think I’m some kind of good guy. My job isn’t really to keep you from buying something else. My job is to make you proud of what we offer, and to give you an enjoyable experience with the product we have. That’s 100% of what I’m focused on.”

The cynic might say that with news common of Xbox’s relative lack of sales success compared to PlayStation 4, Spencer’s amicable approach is necessary to appeal to those who might yet be swayed onto Microsoft’s platform. Cynics aren’t generally fun people, however – one of the most famous supposedly slept in a large ceramic jar in a marketplace -, and while they can raise thoughtful points, it seems preferable to think that Spencer is just a genuinely nice guy. Unless we’re being too optimistic, but let’s leave philosophy for the day, shall we?

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