New Head of Xbox says Xbox One's entertainment features are important, but they "can't come at a cost for what we do for the core gamer."
Microsoft today promoted longtime Xbox boss Phil Spencer to the new role of "Head of Xbox" and in one of his first media interviews, he's addressed one critical concern some users have expressed since launch. Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer said the Xbox One's entertainment applications are important, but appealing to the core gamer is really what he's after.
"Xbox One is our most important gaming asset to date. [We want to] make sure we're completely focused on that gaming customer, that core gaming fan," Spencer said. "Making sure of that, that's what I'm going to bring to this position is a focus on gaming for Xbox One. The entertainment features that we have on Xbox One are important, but those can't come at a cost for what we do for the core gamer."
Spencer did not offer any specifics regarding the ways in which Microsoft will court the core gamer with the Xbox One going forward. But he did tease that Microsoft's presentation at E3 2014 this summer will be one gamers won't want to miss. "I'm looking at the E3 line-up and it's incredibly strong both with sequels and new IP, unannounced things," he said.
From day-one, Microsoft has positioned the Xbox One as an "all-in-one" device that can play movies, music, games, and even live TV programming. Meanwhile, Sony's messaging for the PlayStation 4 has been all about putting the gamer's interests first. Microsoft even reportedly paid $400 million for its extensive partnership with the NFL, something core gamers might have wished was spent on efforts more in line with their immediate interests.
Also in the interview with Kotaku, Spencer acknowledged that Microsoft maybe has not done enough in the PC gaming space.
"The PC, obviously, is a top priority for us as a company," Spencer said. "Gaming on PC is incredibly strong, but we as a platform company can do a better job in that ecosystem and those are conversations [Microsoft operating systems executive Terry Myerson] and I are having almost daily about that focus."
This week, Halo: Spartan Assault will launch on PC via Steam, marking the acclaimed franchise's debut on Valve's marketplace. However, Microsoft has no further Halo releases planned for Steam.
Finally, Spencer said he plans to stay active on Twitter. You can tweet at him @XboxP3.