GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Phil Spencer Explains Why Microsoft Doesn't Need You To Buy A New Xbox This Holiday

Microsoft is about to launch new Xbox consoles, but the company doesn't necessarily need you to buy one.


Microsoft's next-generation strategy is not traditional. Microsoft kinda doesn't care if you even buy a new Xbox Series X or S console because the company also releases its games on PC and mobile, while it also has Xbox customers on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has now shared some additional insight on this unique strategy.

Speaking to GameReactor, Spencer said Microsoft wants to create Xbox customers, and that doesn't necessarily mean on a dedicated gaming console.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Xbox Series X: The Final Preview

"Our high-level goal inside of our team, of how we measure ourselves, is how many people are playing on Xbox," Spencer said. "And when we say 'playing on Xbox' it doesn't mean an Xbox console. It means somebody who is logging in and playing a part of our ecosystem, whether first-party or third-party. And it could be on an Android phone. It could be on a Switch. It could be on a PC. That's how we think about it."

Microsoft also has a presence on PlayStation, as it publishes Minecraft on Sony's consoles. Because of how massively successful Minecraft is, Spencer said he believes Microsoft is in fact one of the biggest publishers on PlayStation.

Game consoles usually do not make any money, and if they do, it's not a lot compared to the much more lucrative games and services. This is why Microsoft is pushing Xbox Game Pass so hard. Creating more subscribers gives Microsoft a regular and recurring revenue stream. Spencer has even hinted at a streaming stick that players can use in place of a traditional console. It would only require a controller to function with a Game Pass subscription.

Even with this strategy, the Xbox Series X and S consoles are expected to be very popular this holiday. Spencer said he predicts shortages as Microsoft will sell every console it can make. "I am going to predict that we are both going to sell every console we build in 2020," he said.

But the next-gen PlayStation is no slouch, and Sony says that demand for PS5 has been very high as well. It may be that you'll have trouble finding one or both of the new consoles in the wild this holiday season. The company also hinted at the possibility of new acquisitions, possibly echoing a recent strategy from Microsoft.

Also in the interview, Spencer said spoke at a high level of about creating exclusive games. He said exclusives can be a great way to drive adoption of a particular platform or ecosystem, but his larger goal is to bring games to as many people as possible.

"I believe that in my core. I love this art form of video games, the interactivity, and the community around it. Both the social discussions, the camaraderie that you and I might feel as we are doing a Destiny strike together, and so on. I love the fact that games can bridge political lines, geographical lines, socioeconomic lines, and religious lines," Spencer said. "So, when I think about games, I want games to be played by as many people as possible, that is part of our strategy at Xbox."

Spencer also reiterated that first-party Xbox titles will also come to PC in the future.

The Xbox Series X and S consoles will launch on November 10, priced at $500 and $300 respectively.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 43 comments about this story