When asked for a reason for PC gamers to purchase an Xbox One, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer says that PC gamers ‘might not buy’ an Xbox One, but that’s perfectly fine.
Xbox and Microsoft have made quite a few headlines in recent days, but probably not for reasons they may want. This week has seen the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios and subsequent cancellation of Fable Legends, rumors of more Microsoft first-party developer closures, and gamers demanding compensation for Xbox Live’s downtime. Needless to say, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer has had a rough week, and after handling the backlash to Lionhead Studios’ closure just days ago, he’s been hit with another weighty question regarding PC gaming and Xbox One.
Wrapping up the end of what must have been a stressful week, Spencer was asked by an attendee at a recent Microsoft event, “What’s the reason for me to purchase an Xbox One?” And Spencer’s response to that question?
“You might not. And I’m not trying to trick you into buying an Xbox One for what I’m doing.”
“I was actually asked by somebody, ‘Did you do Forza 6: Apex as a way of teasing the PC gamers with how good Forza is so they’ll go buy an Xbox One?’ No. That’s not the plan. So they might not [buy an Xbox One]. And I want that to be OK.”
This probably doesn’t seem like what an Xbox Head should say about their product, but Spencer was quick to explain the reasons behind his answer, and that there are still plenty of reasons – other than Xbox One exclusives – for PC gamers to buy an Xbox One.
“I think there’s something very unique about playing console games on my television. 10 feet away, with a controller in my hand, you and I sitting next to each other, either playing against each other or playing with each other — that is different from playing on my PC gaming rig sitting from 2 feet away playing with a keyboard and mouse or even a controller.”
Having previously stated Microsoft’s commitment to PC gaming, Spencer’s attitude towards PC gamers and Xbox One undoubtedly stems from Microsoft’s unique position in both the PC and console markets. With the recent launch of Windows 10, and a future PC/Xbox One cross-buy and cross-save feature, Microsoft appears to be blurring the line between PC and console, something which Spencer attests to.
“This way, when you go and you buy [PC and Xbox One games], you’re not gonna feel like you’re dealing with disconnected islands that don’t understand what games you own, or where you are in those games, or what your achievements are in those games and what you play with, but that instead [we] put you as the gamer at the center of our platform and build our platforms around you.”
Having said all that, 2016 looks to be an intriguing year for new Xbox One IP, and Spencer has made it clear that support for Xbox One will continue for the foreseeable future. But seeing as how Microsoft has a grasp on the PC gaming market and a decent footing in the console market, it makes sense for the company to divide its attentions for both platforms rather than focusing on just one.
PC gaming and Xbox aren’t exactly in direct competition with each other, unlike the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, so it’s not hard to see how Microsoft could have their cake and eat it as well. With announcements that Xbox-exclusive titles such as Quantum Break may also be heading to PC, it’s easy to see why Spencer – and Microsoft – may be fine with PC gamers not buying an Xbox One.
At the end of the day, the big takeaway from all of this is that regardless of the debate over PC or consoles, PC gaming is going to remain a focus for Microsoft, and the company isn’t quitting the console business any time soon, especially with Spencer’s recent assertion that a new Xbox console is definitely coming sometime in the future.