Microsoft boss Phil Spencer gets a promotion to "Head of Xbox," promises "incredible new chapter" for gaming

"Games and gamers have always been at the core of Xbox and the core of my work--and gaming will be our core as we take Xbox forward," Spencer says.

Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer has received a promotion. The veteran Microsoft executive and "games guy" is now leading the entire Xbox ecosystem as the "Head of Xbox," it was announced today. His new position as leader of the Xbox team will see him overseeing the Xbox and Xbox Live, as well as the creative teams at Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Microsoft Studios. Spencer has been with Microsoft for more than a quarter-century.

"Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world's most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself. I am incredibly proud of the talented Xbox employees around the world and believe, like they do, in the power of technology to bring games and entertainment to life across console, PC, tablet and mobile devices," Spencer said in a statement on the Xbox Wire. "It's been a remarkable year for Xbox and I am honored to lead the team at this incredible time for Microsoft and the games industry."

"Games and gamers have always been at the core of Xbox and the core of my work--and gaming will be our core as we take Xbox forward," he added.

Spencer will report to Microsoft operating systems executive Terry Myerson, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a email to employees today. Also in that email, Nadella confirmed that former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as its Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group, which includes Xbox. This move, first reported last month, will become effective when the $7.2 billion Microsoft/Nokia deal closes.

Spencer said the past year has been a "growth experience" for himself and the entire Xbox team. He's likely referring to the controversial summer Xbox endured last year and the policy reversals that came as a result. "Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment, and drive technical innovation," he said. "As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program."

Finally, Spencer teased that Microsoft will have "much more" to share in a few months during the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

"You will hear much more as we head into E3, but we are at the beginning of an incredible new chapter for Xbox and I can't wait for the days and years ahead. This is going to be fun," he said.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

404 comments
playmynutz
playmynutz

Can't wait to see more Kinect games

robbiejones
robbiejones

out of everyone at Xbox i actually like Spencer the best. 

00J
00J

Damage control eh? Hopefully the last gimp that f****d Xbox is in some microsoft basement with a motorized boot kicking em in dee azz. All day long...


mlp071
mlp071

Oh, he was already a head of something..

Hellcanwait
Hellcanwait

it was the year of 2014 when MS realised that consoles was about gaming...


GrenadeLauncher
GrenadeLauncher

This guy knew everything about the original Xbone plans, claimed not to see the Xbone nickname coming after looking at the console name so many times and has been the public face of Xbox for the last few months anyway. Who else was it going to be? Mehdi? Heh.


Phil "Smug Prick" Spencer will not save the Xbox Done.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Wait I thought they already started an incredible new chapter for gaming.  Are they saying that they really hadn't before now?

Harbinger_CR
Harbinger_CR

He's probably the best choice for the job.

wallacom
wallacom

I just hope he is gonna put his money (MS money) where his mouth is.

TruthSerum808
TruthSerum808

It still amazes me at how badly MS dropped the ball with the XB1. The 360 is still a great system that I still use every day. 


They should have made the new machine 10x more powerful than the 360 and left it at that. 

bluefox755
bluefox755

Microsoft does very well when there is no competition, i.e. enterprise software, operating systems, first half of last gen consoles. They struggle a bit when there's actual competition though, i.e. phones, tablets. They have been making ALOT of promises of late, hopefully they've learned a thing or 2 and can deliver this time.

Strychnine
Strychnine

I think that Microsoft has finally got someone else that actually cares about games to be in charge of the Xbox division.


Time will tell...

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

I see "games" and "gamers" and "gaming", but is he referencing these terms solely for the benefit of the XBOX, or game/s/ers/ing in general?

tomservo51
tomservo51

Incredible: too extraordinary and improbable to be believed <making incredible claims>


sounds right to me.

SerJohnnyMenace
SerJohnnyMenace

If anybody can take the Xbox One back to the glory days of the 360, Phil is the man to do it !

rasterror
rasterror

I'm really excited to see what MS brings. I have a feeling they're gonna kill it this year and make up for last year's fiasco. I also want Sony to show something that will make me throw money at my TV. I can't wait.

mr_nee
mr_nee

He is better suited for this job than Mayor Nelson. I just hope they'll make a lot of Kinect party games I'll jump onboard the next day. So it's Wii... I mean kinect or bust

littlestreakier
littlestreakier

I have high hopes for Xbox this E3. From what I've seen the new boss has been trying to do everything right. We'll see if MS delivers at E3

gannon27
gannon27

I can't wait to hear what they have to say at E3. Hopefully an amazing games lineup.

phillywarrior
phillywarrior

did they realize that fans actually want a GAMING console and not a 80s VCR?

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@GrenadeLauncher  Very strong argument made for avoiding Sony's online offering - would NOT want to run into morons like you...

translucent17
translucent17

Yes they started an incredibly pathetic chapter for gaming

shinjuki
shinjuki

@TruthSerum808


Probably one of the same sods that doesn't see the reason for the Wii (massively best selling console of last generation, one of the best selling consoles of all time) huh?


The point of a console is to have a fun invigorating experience. Not to have the most FPS, you corporate clapping monkey of a graphic whore.

waffleiron88
waffleiron88

@rasterror MS has a loooonnnngggg way to go to make up for last years clusterfuck of microsoft that they had. Id imagine the only way to win back its fanbase who jumped ship would be to 1. release x1 with no kinect for a cheaper price and 2. publicly dunk Don Mattrick and Major Nelson in a tank of whale shit.

tomservo51
tomservo51

@gannon27  Peggle 3, Ryse: The Paul Ryser Story and Gears of War: More of the same edition

Tiger_Ali
Tiger_Ali

@joce667 @phillywarrior Yeah, buddy at work owns one. Keep telling him to pick up titanfall but he says the neighbor keeps on trying to sell him his copy for 20 bucks and he refused to get it. But forza 5 is cool, no gt but its ok. Microsoft is doomed in home console department, unlike Sony they have no come from behind track record(ps3). It can only get better but that only depends if Sony screws up royally, which how can that happen....better hope Sony doesn't woo Activision.

rasterror
rasterror

Yeah I'd rather have a console with a thousand games on it. I remember when my grandmother got me machine that had a thousand games. It also doubled as a calculator.

blackace
blackace

@phillywarrior Yes, that's why they announced 16 exclusive games for the XB1 at last years E3. lol!! Why they will announce even more exclusive games and new IP's at this years E3. They have so many new games to show that they won't be able to do it in the 90min time period. This is going to be fun. I can't wait.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@waffleiron88 Indeed. Most of the fans they were able to keep were the mindless CoD drones, the casuals and those uninformed of what happened last year (which actually consists of a lot of people)

Hopefully this marks the beginning of good things for their gamers.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@rasterror  

I have a console with a thousand games.  It's called the NES.  And it's brought me more joy than anything XBone related.


Troll Harder.

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

@blackace @phillywarrior  You believe everything you read, I see. I gotta admit, I like their style...it's very "I'll tell you, what I'm going to tell you later. I'm not ready yet. When I tell you what I'm going to tell you, you'll be the first to know! Isn't that ExCiTiNg?!?!"  O.o   Play mind games you will..Hmm?!?  


Sounds very much like what procrastinators sound like. 

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@blackace @phillywarrior  I am anxious for that. But microsoft has serious problems, one of them is the microtransactions for Forza 5 and others. And, they can still turn kinect off for better graphics, of course, it could use kinect when using kinects games, just like it happens for xbox 360.

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

X1 exclusives: Titanfall 1, Halo, Gears Of War, Quantum Break, Crimson Dragon, Ryse, Forza

PS4 exclusives: Lily Bergamo, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, Gran Turismo, Resogun, Daylight, DriveClub, The Witness, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture, Blacklight: Retribution, Primal Carnage: Genesis, Deep Down, The Order: 1886, Warframe, Rime, The Last Guardian.

Outlast started on PC but it is a PS4 console exclusive.

(Dead Rising 3 will eventually come to PS4; Titanfall 2 will be on PS4 too)

PS4 is king in my opinion (this is coming from someone who owns 100+ games for 360 & less than 10 games for PS3). Sony did it right this gen. Microsoft wants to force Kinect down our throats for $100 more for a weaker console.

rasterror
rasterror

Not more just better. A lot better.

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@sladakrobot @phillywarrior  I agree sladakrobot, and the most of them are great! Forza, Dead Space 3, Killer stinct, for exemple. until now, playstation 4 is suffering... the lacking of AAA games for PS4 makes me think twice if i really want to have a PS4. Forsure, PS4 has the best hardware, but for what? Where are its games?

phillywarrior
phillywarrior

@sladakrobot @phillywarrior yes, and most of them suck lol. Ubisoft them seld said that they will start making games at only 960p for X1 because it has a limit, and sony gave them a "chance to dream" so yea, sucks for you. Ubi makes all the best games

Tiger_Ali
Tiger_Ali

Shouldn't you be playing just dance with Grammy? ....or playing with your son?

@rasterror

rasterror
rasterror

Shouldn't you be giving out more zeroes to Xbox games that haven't come out yet? Or better yet shouldn't you be waiting at a truck stop for the next Sony truck so you can get on your knees and show them how much you love Sony?

nikon133
nikon133

@pedrovnone @sladakrobot@phillywarriorConsidering that major PS developers were still releasing games for PS3 in numbers during 2013, it makes sense that development for PS4 games started, on average, a bit late compared to XBO (where developers switched earlier to new platform).

But even if XBO developers were quicker to jump to new gear, it is hard to argue that many XBO games at present are unfinished and rushed out. Ryse, Forza, KI... come to mind.

Personally, I'm OK to have PS4 exclusives postponed if that really gives us great titles... so the only question for me is, how good will Drive Club, 1886, next Uncharted be. When will they be released, important as it is, takes only 2nd row. In the mean time, I'm enjoying Killzone, Second son, Black Flag (my first 3 games on PS4) and completing some great games PS3 received in the last year or so. And then, there are my PC games... I'm already gaming too much, even without flood of PS4 exclusives 0:)

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@mr_nee @pedrovnone I played Knack, im sure its not game for me... childish... and i have to confess this is a good game... and Killer instinct is much, much better... you dont need to be jelous just try box on mr_nee... im not a xbox fan i like both but im in favor of the best one.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@pedrovnone Mature? Is that why devs have to fight quitters? well if xbox matture means ppl like @rasterror then sure. But trust me Knack woild be better for his mental health

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@mr_nee @pedrovnone  Killer instinct for mature  / Knack for children under 5.


Disney games for children under '6'.


Killer instinct is imcomplete, right!. But those who used to play that game before are happy to see it again. For the ones who never played it before its amazingly good.

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@mr_nee Knack?!?!!??  childish!!!!! this comparison is not valid, ok, it is still a exclusive, but too weak to use against any game i had cited before.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

@phillywarrior @joce667@sladakrobotReality check inbound. The PS4 sure does have a limit, Watch Dogs @ 30fps, that machine is capped out too, come back when you can run BF4 & Titanfall on ultra settings, my PC hasn't seen it's limits yet and you can be sure all Ubisoft games are going to look far better on my machine than a PS4. There's always a bigger fish.

nikon133
nikon133

@mr_nee KI doesn't seem to stand ground against best fighters from the last gen... but Dead Rising looks fun to me, considering that I do love zombie themed games and still play Left for Dead with my mates.

Forza is amazing foundation for next-gen racing game, but it lacks in content. Hopefully developers will focus more on scope in the next instalment, visuals and physics look great as they are.

That being said. Killzone is still the best looking FPS I have played so far, be it on PC or PS3... and, personally, I like the gameplay. And Second Son is downright great. And then, multiplatforms are, in general, a tad better looking/smoother playing on PS4. All together, I'm happy with my PS4, but I don't feel like XBO gamers have any reason to feel bad about their choice, too. At this stage, it is down to personal taste in game genres:

For FPS campaign lovers, PS4 has Killzone and both CoD and BF4 (short as they are, campaign wise) are a bit better on PS4.

For multiplayer FPS, XBO does have Titanfall, which is well reviewed everywhere... so even with Killzone MP looking solid and multiplatforms advantage on PS4 side, I think it is hard to deny TF. At best, I think, PS4 is pulling a draw here.

Driving, XBO is in definite advantage at present.

3rd person, regardless of how much I like zombies, I think Second Son is better game... but like I said, it is down to preferences. Tomb Raider and Black Flag look/play a bit better on PS4 too, I think.

Fighting, even if I'm not huge fan of KI, there is nothing yet on PS4, so XBO takes this one easily.

Eventually, only when both platforms get some decent saturation in all the mainstream genres, can we talk about definite advantage of one platform or the other.

pedrovnone
pedrovnone

@mr_nee  im a fan of The king of fighters games and i'm totally sure KI is good. Dead rising 3 is even better! Garden warfare is also good... why you continue to be jelous? just try xbox one games and you will change your mind and, of course, stop hating what is praiseworthy....

rasterror
rasterror

Wait, I live just dance. I play almost every day with my son. Good fun.

rasterror
rasterror

Name one PS4 game or any game at all that had better graphics than Ryse.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@sladakrobot @mr_nee  KI is total crap. Dead rising... mediocore. Gardern warfare (PS3) and Titanfall crossplats.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@mr_nee Forza,Garden Warfare,Titanfall,Dead Rising,Killer Instinct are not crap.
They might dont fit your taste but they are not crap.

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

@sladakrobot @phillywarrior  Donttypetomuchitsreallyhardtoreadwhatyousaidthankslol


"The X1 has a beat em up,racing game,rail shooter,racing game,fun golf game"

mr_nee
mr_nee

@sladakrobot @mr_nee  Is all that crap that counts as "bone has more games" the reason you got bone? No the only +/- worthy exclusive is Forza. Rest are either crossplats or crap. I finnaly have the first 2 games I bought PS4 AC:BF and inFamous

mr_nee
mr_nee

@sladakrobot @phillywarrior  in that case "X1 has more games than the PS4No,thats just a phrase only haters write.


You have to count in indies dum dum

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@phillywarrior MS didnt gave them a limit.
Like on the X360,MS gives devs and publishers free hands on which resolution they can release their games.

phillywarrior
phillywarrior

@joce667 @phillywarrior@sladakrobot I don't care about just dance. Im talking about (all the Assassins Creed, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cells, Rainbow Six, The Division, The crew, Far cry.....) yea, biggest pre order titles, so yes they are biggest tittles) Also, I didn't make any opinions, read the Ubi report on their website about all these games being only 960p on X1 because Microsoft gave them a limit. PS4 has none

joce667
joce667

@phillywarrior @sladakrobotUbisoft makes the best games ! ha ha ha ha ha thatS agood one . they make some decent games but just Dance and the kinect crap they make give me a break . And buddy maybe try to state facts when you speak , not just trying to pass your opinions as facts . there is a difference .

phillywarrior
phillywarrior

@bunchanumbers @phillywarrior@sladakrobot your joking right?? lol please research it. Even all X1 users on youtube say ps4 has better graphics. IGN, Gamespot, gameinformer all say ps4 has better graphics because its a GAMING CONSOLE. please do your research and not say stuff that you wish was true

phillywarrior
phillywarrior

@sladakrobot @phillywarrior most of the big titles, both bext gens have. I had X1 before I switched and the only thing I liked more for the XboxLive account and the controller, but as soon as I heard the Ubi news about them releasing games at only 960p I switched right away, also because you can upgrade hard drive and because Microsoft tried to screw everyone over with being extremely greedy at E3. And I freaking love the ps4 is perfect. PSN is ehh but I bought it for games  

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@phillywarrior "yes, and most of them suck"
No,thats just a phrase only haters write.

The X1 has a beat em up,racing game,rail shooter,racing game,fun golf game