Microsoft execs "extremely committed" to Xbox amid spinoff rumors

New CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox boss Stephen Elop aren't likely to sell the Xbox division anytime soon, according to Phil Spencer.

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Rumors have swirled for months now that Microsoft might sell off its Xbox division, but it does not look like that's going to happen anytime soon. Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer said this weekend at SXSW that Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella and recently appointed Xbox division boss Stephen Elop are "extremely committed" to the Xbox brand going forward.

"In terms of Microsoft's commitment in the [gaming] space, I know both Satya and Stephen Elop, I know them well. I've had explicit conversations with them about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox--they're extremely committed to Xbox," Spencer said (via Polygon).

Elop was reportedly planning to consider selling off the Xbox brand if he was appointed CEO of Microsoft.

Spencer said Xbox represents a "critical" brand for Microsoft as a company, going on to say that Xbox is "one of the most beloved brands" in Microsoft's portfolio. It's an especially important time to have the backing of your parent company, considering the company's ongoing battle against Sony and the PlayStation 4 for the living room.

"We're in the middle of a good, competitive battle in the console space with PlayStation, which is great for the industry," Spencer said. "And they remain extremely committed to us succeeding with Xbox, which is nice to hear, right? It's something that resonates well inside the walls when you're talking to the teams, or when I stand in front of Xbox fans, I want to make sure that they understand we are extremely committed to this product."

Microsoft's Xbox One has some catching up to do to match the sales pace of the PS4. Sony's console has sold over 6 million units to date, while the Xbox One moved 3 million consoles in 2013. Microsoft has not provided a new sales update in the New Year.

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