When the Xbox One was originally unveiled, it was obvious Microsoft was positioning their new console as an all-in-one device with video games taking a backseat to the platform’s myriad other uses. That’s since changed, though video games still haven’t seen the push they did on the Xbox 360, or the PlayStation 4.
Now that Phil Spencer has been appointed the new Head of Xbox at Microsoft, he says it’s his goal to lead the Xbox team with a focus on video games.
“Xbox is a gaming brand and [Microsoft] took the person who was at the head of the gaming franchises to lead the Xbox team,” Spencer told Polygon. This decision “really shows a commitment” to games on the now four month-old platform.
“With me you’re going to get a focus on gaming first and a best platform to play games on,” Spencer added. “It’s not a focus we ever lost but it’s one I’ll be accentuating at Microsoft. It’s really going to be a gaming-led focus with Xbox and my new role allows us to execute on that.”
A fresh perspective is desperately needed at Xbox. The Xbox One has been outsold by the PS4 by a factor of close to 2 to 1 worldwide and Sony has only amped up their own “gaming first” philosophy by signing on more indie developers — there are over 1,000 licensed indie devs developing for PS4 right now — and continues adding to the already extremely valuable PS Plus membership. Microsoft is losing touch with their core fans, gamers, and it’s having a detrimental effect on the console’s success.
I hope Phil Spencer can get them back on track, but we’ll have to wait and see.