If anyone’s going to sing the potential praises of an underdog gaming platform, it would be its lead executive, right? Phil Spencer, then, should be firing off during interviews about how the Xbox One will win this console generation.
Except, in Spencer’s typically awesome honest fashion, he’s not.
Spencer was asked directly at the 2015 GeekWire Summit if Microsoft could beat Sony this generation. His response, as reported by VideoGamer, was spot on.
“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…
…One thing that probably I didn’t realise 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 [organisation] of thousands of people, you’re down in the organisation 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?”
Spencer made sure that hoisting his team back up to pre-launch levels of confidence was his first job. I’d say he’s done that, at least in my eyes. The Xbox One is an infinitely more desirable system now than it was right before release. Spencer and team have turned the ship around, and the constant support and updates makes it better every month.
Will it beat the PS4? Probably not. The PS4 launched with such an exceptional pace, and the recent price drop will only surge it further.
I’m not sure it matters, though. The Xbox One is starting to get some exclusives, and backwards compatibility and support from Microsoft will definitely do a lot.
The console is solid, and Spencer’s candid nature does a lot to keep its image in good shape.