E3 2017: Phil Spencer Talks Xbox One X Potentially Being Held Back By PS4 Deals

Phil Spencer addresses the possibility of a deal that holds back technical performance.

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Now Playing: Why Xbox Boss Wants To Co-Exist With Sony - E3 2017

Microsoft officially revealed the Xbox One X at E3 this week, providing a name and details for the improved Xbox One formerly known as Project Scorpio. It's more powerful than PS4 Pro, but game companies now find themselves in a position where they have to decide how to approach the improvements that are offered on Xbox One X as compared with PS4 Pro. We learned this week that Destiny 2 will run at 30 FPS on Xbox One X, just as it will on PS4 Pro. But it's unclear if that framerate is the result of hardware restrictions or because Sony, through its partnership with Activision, would not allow the game to run better on rival hardware.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer joined GameSpot today on our E3 live show to discuss this and much more. Regarding the potential for games' technical performance to be held back due to such arrangement, he noted that he was not aware of that specifically happening, but he did say he thinks it would be bad for the industry.

"I'm gonna struggle to not get myself in trouble on this one," he said. "I'll just say: I don't know anything about other development deals. You mentioned some things around clauses and stuff that I don't know anything about. But if anybody was to do a deal to hold back technical innovation on a video game anywhere else, that doesn't feel good for the industry to me."

Spencer went on to contrast the approach of securing exclusive content with the way Microsoft now operates. "I've said I'm not one who's a fan of going out and doing deals so that a certain skin isn't playable on another platform or a different Strike," he said. "And people will come and say, 'Hey, you guys did that first with Call of Duty way back in the day.' I wasn't in this position when that happened. That's not me ducking responsibility for it, but I didn't make that call.

"But the deals that we do now--and you saw our third-party relationships on stage with Shadow of War, with Assassin's [Creed], you're not going to hear them say anything about there's a certain character that's not playable. And I never go into a situation where I say, 'You can't do something that's possible on another platform' in order to benefit. I haven't seen those deals. If that started to happen in the industry, I don't think that's a great thing. I don't know that it has happened."

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Spencer also made it clear he views Xbox One X and what it's capable of as being on a different level than the consoles currently on the market. "I know right now, the technical capability on Xbox One X is beyond… I look at [PS4] Pro, [PS4] Slim, [Xbox One] S as kind of in one category, and then you've got a box, as you said, that can natively do a lot more. Whether developers choose to use the horsepower for framerate, resolution, or just techniques within the frame. I'm not going to dictate that. I've heard this: 'Hey, you should force all games to [run at] 60 [frames per second] or something.' I've never thought forcing the creative process is a way to get great games."

You can watch our full interview with Spencer in the video at the top of this article. He also discussed console wars, Xbox backwards compatibility, and more. For more on what Microsoft had to share this week, check out our roundup of all the Microsoft press conference news.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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    GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

    Avatar image for Vodoo
    Vodoo

    I think all 3 console companies should collaborate together to make an ultimate console. Microsoft could handle the tech and network, Sony could get in on the tech and games, and Nintendo just offers games because their consoles suck.

    Have 1 super console. It'll be cheaper for all 3 companies because they're not doing all the R&D alone because it's split 3 ways. It would also probably amount to a cheaper console for us in an industry where the price keeps skyrocketing.

    But they're all too stubborn to see the big picture.

    Avatar image for gameoftrolls
    GameofTrolls

    Isn't it more likely the Xbox One holding back the Xbox One X ? if they are going to be playing Destiny 2 in September on Xbox One at 30fps and Xbox One X in November at 60fps, then Microsoft Xbox One is already a problem in for the ecosystem. At least you can play games on the PS4 pro at 60fps but only on 1080p and not Dynamic 4K.

    Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
    LTJohnnyRico

    He makes sense, I will be getting the One X and really hope the system gets pushed and DEVs really work for that ! I am happy with my PS4 Pro also but They need to make games for the X next level !

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    Holy shit this thread is toxic most of appear to have not even read the article or even watched the video.

    First he acknowledged that it was done on 360 when Don Matrick was in charge. As proof you haven't seen these deals since then. MS could have easily kept the Activision deal rolling.

    Second, It's pretty fuckin' obvious mandatory s support will be dropped once the next Xbox comes out. Is leap frog to God damn difficult for you people to understand.

    Avatar image for Mirimon78
    Mirimon78

    Lol, very definition of hypocrisy....

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @Mirimon78: not really

    He acknowledged that it was done on 360 when Don Matrick was in charge. As proof you haven't seen these deals since then. MS could have easily kept the Activision deal rolling.

    Avatar image for Mirimon78
    Mirimon78

    @Aperturetier3: there are 54 entire games now and planned for the xbox one that are not developed or published by msft which are timed exclusive. This is not counting the longer list of exclusive CONTENT deals timed and otherwise made for xb1 (like the division for example). All under Spencer....

    So yeah, hypocrisy

    Avatar image for zero_dawn
    Zero_Dawn

    Now that tech science has exposed the fact Assassin's Creed Origins is Checkerboard @ 30fps, I wonder why Ubisoft sabotaged Xbox One X?

    Especially since they showcased the game at their conference? Are (tinfoil hat) Ubisoft and Bungie working in tandem to take down Microsoft?

    Lolol I can't wait to see Digital Foundry expose more of the lies Phil Spencer and Microsoft have said as more tech science reveals the truth. How far will Phil and Microsoft peddle their conspiracy theories as more of the truth is revealed?

    Avatar image for sladakrobot
    sladakrobot

    @zero_dawn: Phil never started to make a conspiracy on ANYTHING! Did you even watched the interview?

    Please,here and now,say where he lied with AC or any 3rd party game and back that up with quotes!

    Avatar image for Ravenlore_basic
    Ravenlore_basic

    Developers will push XB1X when there is enough revenue made from it to do so. To take on additional cost to a game and not reap any profits from doing so is not how it works.

    If this gen did not sell well XB1 at 5 million and PS4 at 8 million and future sales not good GAMES would still be made on PS3 and XB360.

    SO until its profitable to do so new games will not have be pushed with greater anything on XB1X!!!

    Avatar image for agravier
    Agravier

    @Ravenlore_basic: This level of development has been going on FOREVER in PC gaming so your assessment is totally wrong...it's not much different than PC games how many gamers you think have SLI 1080's 8 cores 4GHZ+ 64gig ram..Etc. it's a minimal market at best under 10% according to steam... yet just about every game shipped supports 4K with all the bells and whistles...

    Avatar image for Dav_id83
    Dav_id83

    Oh wait like he and his team didn't do it for XBOX 360 fucking hypocrite it was well known that they wouldn't allow devs to make the other console version Superior to there's if it could be done, and now Sony is doing it to them. I wish the console war bulls*** would just f***** off once and for all, allow cross play online and gamers get a fair deal wether your on XBOX or PS it shouldn't matter and we shouldn't be punished because we bought either a XBOX or PS4 for content. I own a PS4, PS3, XBOX 360 and PC I don't and I've never agreed with how Destiny was held back with content for X1 players I thought it was bullshit and I think there doing it again with PS4 and D2, if I was XBOX I wouldn't buy it at all in fact I am PS4 and I won't be buying not after the scam that was D1 anyway.

    Avatar image for aniruddh
    aniruddh

    @Dav_id83: That's what he said. Watch the video or just read the article. He was not the head of Xbox that time when 360 came.

    Avatar image for Mirimon78
    Mirimon78

    @aniruddh: but they have done this same thing for xv1, under Spencer's lead.

    Avatar image for lostn
    lostn

    One X will be held back by its own console the One. Now, and in the future, they will not look like a generational leap over the S version. They will at best look like a remaster of the S version. That is the same problem the Pro has for now.

    But since MS is ditching generations and insists that every console in the Xbox One "family" has games that are cross compatible among all of them, presumably that means one day the One X-5's games will still have to run on One S. That means the games will be constrained by what is possible on One S. So the X-5's version will still be the same game but with higher resolution, better textures and AA, and stuff, but still essentially the core graphics are the same. It will be like remastering a PS3 game onto PS4. Looks a little better, but still from the same generation and not an 8th gen looking game.

    Not only will One S hold back the X and its successors, it will hold back PS5 and PS6 with third party games, if the One S will continue being able to play future games forever. If they retire the One S, then a future console can't continue using the "One" branding because they have emphasized that all consoles with One in the title are part of the same family.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    If they keep the claim that Xbox one, S and X will continue to play the same games then PS4 and pro aren't holding them back anymore than the Original One and S would.

    But as some said, the article heading and content seem to have different message.

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: It's pretty obvious mandatory s support will be dropped once the next Xbox comes out. It's leap frogging.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: that's not how they've been advertising. So far since Scorpio they've been saying everything will play on all just better on the one x.

    My biggest Issue with this claim was for this same discussion because it doesn't make sense if a developer wants to do more than graphical ehancements

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: how does saying Xbox s games will play better on Scorpio translates to for ever support? It can also play Xbox OG and 360 games better but that doesn't mean developers still have to make games for them. I can't even begin to understand your train of thought.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: sigh....I'm talking about all the previous stuff that was said before this e3, why do you think others are saying the same thing?

    The funny thing about "fans" is that they defend everything. I remember when saying that the difference in power is too great gap and that it's a new gen that would have its own games "fans" defended it with the same passion as you're defending the opposite.

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: Sigh all you want Bud the fact remains they have never said the s would be supported forever. All they said was the release of Scorpio did not mean the end of mandatory S support. They still have generation cycles for the time being and it is all but guaranteed be phased out eventually just like what Sony is doing, and just like every single console ever made.

    And yes I did notice that everyone else in this thread displaying deliberate ignorance all have a very similar opinion towards Microsoft. I bet when Sony announced the pro also saying the same thing about keeping regular PS4 support you weren't staring blankly like it was the most complicated thing you've ever seen, so take your own words of wisdom.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: SIGH i did hate on sony as well, you're the ignorant one here....

    Anyhow i have lost any desire to attempt to communicate with you anymore. Enjoy your wonderful console that you give a bad name to and continue to blindly defend them when they contradict themselves. You're doing it marvelously

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: Sound good dude. Enjoy changing reality to suit not having to know shit. Ignorance is bliss I'm told. Piece.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: you sure showed me, I'm so embarrassed

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: I'm sure you'll live... Unfortunately.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: ouch another one. Your smack talk is out of this world

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: I didn't realize your sarcastic replies were so high brow. But you know you sure are being chatty for someone who lost the desire to keep talking to me. You're like a child that can be easily goated back because the last word is important to you lol. Whats the next school yard zinger you have in mind? "Oh good one, that really hurt"?

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: Oh good one, that really hurt

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: full disclosure. I do get a certain amount of satisfaction everytime you reply after saying you were done.

    But, but... I was actually hoping you would say that because it was honestly the best way out of that situation. So a couple points back to you.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: somebody call 911 i need an ambulance here, this guy is just too good

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: http://popkey.co/search/meh

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: cool

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: Is it though?

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: yes very

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: it seems you're not as smart as i thought.

    I dont only play PS4, like someone that actually likes to play games and not just consoles, i have a wii u, and ps4 and had every intention of getting a xbox but while nintendo had awesome exclusives, xbox simply doesnt so i held back. If i could find a switch I'd have one already.

    Also If xbox showed a lot of good exclusives this e3 i wouldve started setting my eyes on a one X because again, i simply enjoy games.

    But that side, even if someone only owns one console, how in the world does that make them automatically bias? It's like you have the most immature logic on the face of this earth.

    But i guess it's my wrong here for believing that someone who thinks that fulling their comments with insults makes them look smarter is capable of using logic.

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: Oh my sweet chatty Cathy you have seriously built yourself up pretty high in your own head. "What i dont get is that i haven't acted sony bias at all." And yet it was pretty damn obvious to me this whole time that you were only playing on PS4.

    I won't pretend that I don't prefer Xbox but, remember, while talking to you I haven't bashed or called for the end of Sony like a fanboy. I also didn't​ pretend like my brain took a shit and then claimed the base PS4 will hold the pro back but that won't be the case between the Xbox S and X somehow.

    Seriously go look at the very last comment made in the thread 19 hours ago. He proceeds to talk about how the Xbox one is holding back the X to 30fps for parity and then immediately says at least the pro will do 60fps as if the base PS4 doesn't have the same impact on the pro.

    It's that comment that sums up this entire thread, everyone playing dumb. So I made a reply and pasted it on like 10 different comments all saying the same dumb shit about how it's a situation unique to Xbox. You and one other took a bite and Man did you bite hard.

    Admittedly you're a little brighter​ bulb than him but just as easy to manipulate. It's been really fun to watch you vie for something as petty as the last word while attempt to hold yourself to some self proclaimed high standard.

    I have have had no issue supporting any platform. PC, Sony and Nintendo alike. I own all the platforms (except switch) because I want to play whichever game I want to play. What I do have issues with is supporting stupid circles jerks. like most of the people here.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: what i dont get is that i haven't acted sony bias at all. I simply point out that the one and one s will hold them back as much as the pro would. The ps4 pro doesnt interest me unless my ps4 dies and i need a new one.

    But you ignorantly class me as some die hard fan like you are to xbox.

    But of course your silly fanboy ways cant allow you to take that for what it is. In your eyes anything said that doesnt glorify MS must be hate and the person is in need of insults.

    When sony released the pro i saw it as an obvious comparison to the one S, they are both improvements to the original.

    Some others compare one s to ps4 slim, but the ps4 slim is simply a smaller ps4.

    Scorpio has been talked about as the next generation to which i would compare a ps5. Only now that they officially call it one x do i consider it somewhat still an xbox one.

    I dont mind differing opinions, but your continuous highschool insults are so dumb and uncalled for that i entertained you

    Edit: oh i also liked how you called out my typo when you said the following to someone else;

    "Oh no a typo, my whole argument is undone how could you!?! Is that what you're hoping for retard. Oh look it's​ fixed guys everything is back to normal."

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: Cool story bro not sure what "connecting the online" means. But it really shouldn't have taken this long to admit your Sony bias.

    I don't have an intolerance to what other people like, remember I haven't actually bashed Sony while talking to you. I have an inability to entertain people like you who have no problem when one company does something because you like them but acts like the world suddenly turned upside down when another does it.

    Before the Scorpio was more than a spec sheet to the general public Sony released the pro promising mandatory PS4 support and using the term PlayStation family and yet no one was dumb enough to say"so they have build games for the PS4 forever derp." Oh and you're the only one petty enough to be loyal to a company. Yes I have an Xbox , yes I will buy the X, yes I have a PC but I also have pro. So see you online bitch!

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @Aperturetier3: on a more serious note, I'm thankful now more than ever for not buying a xbox one back when I was Interested and support Sony's statement about connecting the online.

    I'd probably quit gaming if I had to meet someone like you online while gaming. Someone so blind and petty who chooses to insult everyone who thinks differently.

    So I truly thank you, although Xbox lineup hasnt been Impressive at all lately so there's that too.

    Avatar image for Aperturetier3
    Aperturetier3

    @RJS86: k

    Avatar image for x-TwilighT-x
    x-TwilighT-x

    @RJS86: Agreed. Dev's aren't going to make a game for XB1 - Then the game, but with a higher frame-rate for the XB1 X... Does't make sense.

    Avatar image for RJS86
    RJS86

    @x-TwilighT-x: yeah especially when X is designed to boost them anyway

    Avatar image for jlenoconel
    jlenoconel

    I own the original Xbox One, but will not be buying another one as I have gravitated towards PC, which is far better. I play Xbox for the very few exclusives it actually has, and Call of Duty because you can get it cheaper on console than PC. I won't pay for Xbox Live though, not when I can play online for free on PC.

    Avatar image for lonesamurai1
    lonesamurai1

    It's bound to be the truth. Personally I would have preferred to see the Witcher 3 been developed for PC only with better graphics and not have all of the extra added DLC because let's face it, that's the only thing that the console involvement brought was additional DLC. The machine isn't even out yet and they are already starting this kind of talk. These companies are pathetic, consoles are the scourge of gaming and they always will be.

    Consoles made the Witcher 3 less than it could have been.