Microsoft: "We're Going to Try to Win That Core Gamer"

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says early console adopters are "critical" to long-term success because they provide detailed and meaningful feedback.

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Microsoft's plan for the Xbox One is to "win that core gamer," Head of Xbox Phil Spencer told Bloomberg in an interview. Asked what role the core/enthusiast crowd plays in helping extend Xbox One sales beyond the initial push of 3 million units, Spencer said these users are "critical." This is because, Spencer says, the core audience is often the most vocal group, which can be particularly meaningful when Microsoft thinks about implementing features that can appeal to a wider audience further down the road.

"Those early adopters I think in any consumer category are the people that are giving you feedback on the things you're going to try to do," Spencer said. "Every year, we're going to try to win that core gamer. Not just because it's a great audience, it's a consumptive audience, but also somebody that's going to give you feedback on the new things you're doing. At lot of the new things actually impact the broader audience over time. Winning that core gamer year after year is a focus of mine as Head of Xbox."

Earlier this month, Microsoft launched an official Xbox Feedback website where users can submit and vote on new ideas for Xbox. Microsoft also has a beta testing program in place for its monthly Xbox One system updates, where users are given unreleased features and functionality, and are asked to provide feedback so Microsoft can improve the experience for general release.

Another recent example of Microsoft's attempts to "win" the core gamer was the company's E3 briefing this month. It was 90 minute of games, games, and more games. Instead of going broad in talking about various TV and entertainment features or Kinect games, Microsoft doubled down on core games, talking about new titles like a Phantom Dust reboot and Inside, the next game from Limbo developer Playdead.

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