Xbox boss Phil Spencer admits that he doesn’t know whether or not the Xbox One can beat the PlayStation 4 in the coming years when it comes to overall profits.
During a live interview at the 2015 GeekWire Summit, Phil Spencer said he is not entirely sure if Microsoft can close in on Sony’s “huge lead” with the PlayStation 4, due largely in part to the Xbox One‘s poor launch. When the head of the Xbox division was asked whether or not Xbox One sales will be able to surpass PlayStation 4, Spencer said, “You know, I don’t know. You know, the length of the generation, they [Sony] have a huge lead and they have a good product. I love the content, the games line-up that we have.”
When analyzing why the Xbox One still has a lot of work to do in order to catch up with the PlayStation 4, Spencer proposed that it might be due to the hit in morale his company’s workers suffered from their superiors, as well as the scrutiny of unfair public perception. The executive continued:
“One thing that probably I didn’t realize as much as I should have when I started in this role was the impact that the launch had on our team here in Redmond, the Xbox team. Because it’s easy to read the blogs and the sites and my Twitter feed and see what the customers think of our brand and our product, but the team in Redmond took as much of a hit as the external community did around the launch.
“And I sit back and I think about an [organization] of thousands of people, you’re down in the organization and some words and some actions from executives kinda just trash all the work that you’ve done over the last three years, many weekends and nights, and you start to question why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard when a few crass comments can actually position our product more directly than any work that the team was doing?”
Of course, Spencer doesn’t completely count Microsoft’s current-gen console out of the runnings. The executive went on to use the inclusion of the Xbox One’s backward compatibility component as an example of what the company is doing correctly in order to cater to the gaming community at large. By using the specific feature as a reference, it’s clear that Spencer’s business philosophy centers around garnering the support of consumers, rather than trying to combat the competition. To emphasize this point, he said, “I would never question the ability of our organization, but I’ll say we’re not motivated by beating Sony, we’re motivated by gaining as many customers as we can.”
Microsoft definitely has an uphill battle ahead of itself. For starters, Japan sales for the Xbox One are downright abysmal, as the console is basically being outsold 108-to-1 by the PlayStation 4. Not to mention, Sony’s console is absolutely crushing it as far as earnings go, for as of writing, PS4 sales currently stands at 25.4 million total units sold, while the Xbox One rests at 13.9 million sold. Plus, the tech firm is still trying to regain the trust of its fan base after Xbox Live went down just last week, much to the irritation of Xbox One owners everywhere.
Although the Xbox One certainly has its fair share of woes to conquer, at least Spencer is publicly addressing the fact that his company is far behind where it needs to be, which is one step in the right direction. And should gamers’ support for the Xbox One continue to flag, it isn’t for lack of trying on Spencer’s part, as his plan to move away from third-party exclusives and focus on first-party titles has won over a sizable audience. However, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe going forward, especially with the recent PlayStation 4 price drop hitting North American retailers.