Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Wants Gamers to be the "Center of our Decisions"

Lizzy Finnegan

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Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Wants Gamers to be the "Center of our Decisions"



In a Gamescon interview with Eurogamer, Phil Spencer discussed the PS4, Wii U, and Xbox's focus moving forward.

Console wars have certainly become more gentlemanly in recent years, and in an interview with Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-08-10-putting-the-gamer-at-the-centre-of-our-decisions-phil-spencer-on-xboxs-big-year] Head of Xbox Phil Spencer proved it when he praised both Sony and Nintendo.

"Sony's had great success with PlayStation, they've earned that success over multiple decades of building a great product. Kudos to them for their market position," Spencer said. He also had some kind words for the Wii U, calling Nintendo a "beacon" for first party titles. "On the Wii U, I think people downplay how many units they've sold. I've got a Wii U, I think there's some great games on there. I think Splatoon's a really nice game and I don't think there's a first-party out there that has the strength of IP that Nintendo has. They're always a beacon to me when I look at what it means to build a first-party portfolio of products, they've done a great job."

Despite offering plenty of praise for his competitors, Spencer asserted that his focus, and the focus of the company in general, would not be on their competitors but rather the Xbox One and, most importantly, gamers.

"I see nothing but opportunity in front of us. The console space is so healthy right now - and that's also not a terminal point you can write about anymore, the death of the console! - it's nice to see Sony doing well, PlayStation 4 and Xbox is selling more than we've ever sold before. That health is great. I really think about us coming, more about putting the gamer at the centre of our decisions over the next 12 months, and less centred on specific ties to any platform that those people want to play on. It's such a huge opportunity. We have a unique position being both the Windows company and the Xbox company, that allows us to go do more."

This is a welcome change of perspective from June 2013, when Microsoft's then-President of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick responded to concerns [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/124891-Microsoft-Exec-Offline-Gamers-Should-Stick-With-Xbox-360] regarding the Xbox One's internet connectivity requirements by saying "We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity; it's called Xbox 360."

[Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-08-10-putting-the-gamer-at-the-centre-of-our-decisions-phil-spencer-on-xboxs-big-year]]


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Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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See, the funny thing is, we've heard this before. And then we got the Xbox One. and that Don Mattrick quote.

It's not a refreshing change of pace. It's the same old marketing.
 

Atmos Duality

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"I see nothing but opportunity in front of us. The console space is so healthy right now - and that's also not a terminal point you can write about anymore, the death of the console!"
I see it's Comedy Hour again at Microsoft.

The two biggest "next gen" consoles (Xbone and PS4) are so close to PCs in hardware that it'd be a semantic difference, if not for the all the extra limitations and gotchas built into them.

But even beyond that, the sentiment of wanting to put your customers' needs first rings hollow.
What reason do I, or anyone have to take you at your word?

It took concerted market backlash to provoke the now infamous "Xbone 180"; which basically meant offering a product similar but ultimately inferior to Sony's PS4 (which itself isn't all that impressive).

You want to get gamers' trust, then try to fragging EARN IT; and stop trying to twist their arms for whatever stupid gotcha schemes you want.
 

The Enquirer

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Apr 10, 2013
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It's always nice hearing this stuff, but it'll be really nice if they actually followed through on this.
 

Dr.Awkward

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It's not what we want that they should be listening to - When it comes to consumer opinions, few have a genuine idea on how to improve an existing product or service. It's what we are tired of that needs to be heard.

One particular complaint I have with corporate-owned development is the complete lack of restraint towards riding the coattails of a genre due to a very successful game. If Microsoft can learn not go the direction of the crowd and follow its own way, creating the confidence in genuine titles that don't try to pull from similar successful games or software, they might just find a lot more respect from consumers.
 

CharrHearted

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Yeah, that's my piece on this. There is no way in hell Phil Spencer wants gamers to be the center of their decisions, we're just a number, and they want to drain us of every little dime we have. We ain't falling for it Philly. Children might, but not me!
 

circularlogic88

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Oct 9, 2010
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He certainly appears to sound more palatable than Don. I like his attitude even though I still have no desire to buy an Xbox One.
 

josemlopes

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Zachary Amaranth said:
See, the funny thing is, we've heard this before. And then we got the Xbox One. and that Don Mattrick quote.

It's not a refreshing change of pace. It's the same old marketing.
Not saying that Phil Spencer is going to be our saviour but so for he is no Don Mattrick, I still dont understand how that guy has a job. First EA and all the terrible stuff (still there since the current CEO isnt any good too), then Xbox with the shit of an end to the 360 life cycle (no games) and the Xbox One, to then go to Zynga and fuck everything they owned.

At least Spencer is showing the focus on games, the 2015/2016 line up is rather good.
 

Andy Shandy

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Jun 7, 2010
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Good. Though you'll have to work hard to get rid of the Don Mattrick stink with a lot of people, as this thread proves.

Certainly a lot more happy with Spencer at the helm.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Hey, it might be rhetoric, but ok with what Phil Spencer is doing now.

Everyone needs to put out good spin. That's the nature of business. Very rarely will you see a company tell it like it is. However, in gaming now we have so much animosity pointed to us as gamers by developers and publishers (from Ubisoft calling all PC gamers pirates, to the defense of on disc DLC, to companies telling us that we should be happy to pay forty extra dollars for what would have been just shipped on the disc 7 years ago..).

It actually feels good to see that someone remembers that they are supposed to actually be freaking pleasant to us as customers.

Now, that isn't the entire battle. Now it's time to back it up. But it felt good that someone remembered the natural order.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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josemlopes said:
At least Spencer is showing the focus on games, the 2015/2016 line up is rather good.
Unfortunately, this isn't particularly new, either.

Microsoft is now in a struggle where it thought it would dominate. Great. For now, they're going to pull out all the stops. Games. Backwards compatibility. Blackjack. Hookers. But it was the ubiquity of the 360 that caused that. Not necessarily in sales, as the PS3 actually managed to take second place by the end of it as the current gen, but in terms of sales plus software. When they thought they were on top, they changed their tunes. Hell, they may have prompted their own end-years decline, given they took focus of development of exclusives (save for the Halos and the like).

Even if they've got good games coming out soon, I wouldn't count on it to last. This is great for now, but Microsoft has already pulled the "got your money, now piss off" deal.
 

Lufia Erim

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Mar 13, 2015
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Zachary Amaranth said:
See, the funny thing is, we've heard this before. And then we got the Xbox One. and that Don Mattrick quote.

It's not a refreshing change of pace. It's the same old marketing.
At the very least. The PR department are doing their job properly now. I mean since the "Always online catastrophy" at the very least xbone is trying to keep themselves in a good light. Whather we believe them or not.
 

Nazulu

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Jun 5, 2008
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I wonder what they would really say if they weren't rolling around in money. If we're so important, how about making everything really convenient, including for those who don't want to use certain features? Can they do that?
 

Yan007

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Personally, I have a Wii U for the exclusives (a sucker for Nintendo games), but I'll skip the PS4 and XBox1 because I have a PC for my non-Nintendo urges and very few titles appeal to me. Also, I was tempted to get another console but I think I'll sit this one out and wait for the next generation that will hopefully have better resolution and framerate.
 

RandV80

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Phil Spencer could very well be genuine but the corporate structure of Microsoft will never actually allow this sort of sentiment with for the Xbox to go very far. It's all just public relations, and public relations is just a gentler word for propaganda.
 

Denamic

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I think this is the third time I say this regarding what Microsoft people say in recent memory, but words are cheap.
 

CrossGuard

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But I thought gamers were dead? Or is it that everyone and their grandmother is a "gamer" now? Argh... I can't keep up with this nonsense.

Anyway, MS did shift their focus more into games, and away from TV and Kinect after Don Mattrick stepped out. So that's at least one good thing they did, right?
 

Sarge034

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That's cool, but the Xbone's ui and architecture is still so god awful I physically can't do half the things I want to do (that the console actually supports). How bout we make streamlining that bad boy a priority?
 

weirdee

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Apr 11, 2011
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I guess they rate "healthy" by the ratio of increasingly shameless lies to regretted unrefundable purchases.

Or as the industry calls it, "creating value".
 

Lizzy Finnegan

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okay... okay... why start now though?

if true, thats cool, but history has taught us that they say something pro-consumer right before they dislodge a metaphorical shoe up our metaphorical asses.