Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer is in the business of selling Xbox Ones, but that has not kept him from speaking out to praise his competition recently. In an interview with OXM, Spencer spoke kindly about Sony, saying the company has "done a nice job" with the PlayStation 4, especially the way in which the publisher has supported studios like Heavy Rain creator Quantic Dream and stayed true to its vision for the platform.
"Sony--and I'm focused on first-party because of what I do--I really respect their focus on investing in new things and creative things, what they've done with David Cage and Quantic Dream around Beyond [Two Souls] and Heavy Rain; they stay committed to franchises even if they don't sell 10 million units, they'll stay committed to things," Spencer said.
"I think that long-term commitment to franchises is important, where it's easy to pull off the Band-Aid and move onto the next thing [if it doesn't sell]. I respect their 'stick-to-it-iveness'. I'll say, they've done a nice job with PS4 [...] When I think about their announcement, their clear focus on a customer, leading with the value proposition of what they're trying to do, staying true to a vision, I think they've done a nice job in how they defined the PS4."
This is not the first time Microsoft has cheered on Sony. When the PS4 launched in North America on November 15, various Xbox executives spoke out to congratulate Sony on releasing their new console. In addition, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg said last month that strong early sales for the Xbox One and PS4 is "great news" for the industry.
Spencer also applauded Nintendo, describing the Mario maker's first-party catalog as "amazing."
"Nintendo, I think--and there's some argument about this--that their first-party is such an amazing asset," he said. "Their first-party studios and IP can lead what they do as a company and the platforms are almost in service to the IP--not in a bad way."
Part of the reason why Microsoft's new fighting game Killer Instinct is attractive to gamers, Spencer said, is because of the franchise's history on Nintendo platforms. This history can help players feel connected, Spencer argued.
"Obviously, the history of Killer Instinct isn't a history on Xbox, but it's Rare's history and I think the reaction when we announced it on-stage at E3 showed that playing to the people's heart, I think Nintendo does that as well as anybody in terms of hitting the franchises and having huge success with them," he said.