Phil Spencer has once again said that he doesn’t expect a delay for the next gen Xbox, but he still won’t be drawn on the console’s price.
One of the key skills for anyone in charge of a major games company is being able to say as little as possible without anyone realising.
IGN had Phil Spencer for a whole hour and we’re in awe at how he managed to say almost nothing new, and yet still seem like he was trying to be as helpful and interesting as possible.
Although it’s been said before by him, and others at Microsoft, he insisted that he still expected the Xbox Series X to be released this year, while also revealing that Halo Infinite would be the only Xbox-only launch title.
Spencer previously stated that the Xbox Series X wouldn’t have any exclusives of its own for the first one or two years of its life, so as well as being on PC, Halo Infinite will also be released on Xbox One.
Although there will almost certainly be multiformat games from third party publishers at launch, Spencer commented that, ‘It’s not about any one day, it’s about a sustained stream of great games coming from our first party and our third party partners.’
Referring to the Xbox One, he also said that having eight games out at launch was a bad idea, and that you can ‘pace those out’. Although that sort of number has always been relatively normal for new consoles.
There’s two reasons, Spencer, or anyone in his position, would say this, one of which is because he genuinely thinks it’s a good idea and the other is that nothing else is ready and he wants to pretend a lack of games is on purpose.
Spencer wouldn’t be drawn on the price of the console, even as he admitted that he’d be looking at what Sony does with the price of the PlayStation 5. Which is exactly what Sony said when looking at the Xbox Series X to decide their price.
He also didn’t mention the concerns of Microsoft boss Satya Nadella, that a lack of demand for the next gen consoles was the most likely reason to delay them, as people struggle financially in the face of the coronavirus – and get sick of sitting indoors playing video games.
In the end, the closest Spencer got to any controversy was when he commented on Sony’s recent technical revelations from PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny, with Spencer implying that the Xbox Series X would still be more powerful.
‘I felt really good about how Series X lines up,’ he said. ‘I will say, when we finally saw the public disclosure [from Sony], I felt even better about the choices that we made on our platform. And I kind of expected that I would.’
‘The hardware team that did Xbox One S and Xbox One X, I just have a lot of confidence in them. If I give them the time and the targets to go hit, I believe in their ability to create a great end-to-end program’, he added.
At this point, most people are fed up of hearing about tech specs and vague promises, but Spencer insisted that Microsoft would be announcing games at multiple different events between now and when E3 was due to take place in June.
‘We’ll do things between now and the time when E3 was supposed to be, we’ll do things throughout the summer,’ said Spencer. ‘I think we’re just gonna look at how teams can get stuff ready, and how we can best use digital experiences to best deliver experiences to the fans that we have.’
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