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Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Is Thinking Beyond Consoles

Phil Spencer talks about why he believes the future of gaming isn't limited to consoles alone.


Xbox boss Phil Spencer's vision for Xbox is beyond consoles. A system that sits under or next to your TV will be important for years to come, but Microsoft is preparing for a future where the company doesn't need to sell you a console to become an Xbox user.

Spencer expanded on some of these ideas in an interview with Wired recently. He said he wants gaming to grow to a place that is more platform-agnostic. He used Netflix as an example, saying it doesn't matter whether you watch on a TV or a mobile phone--the content is the same.

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"You and I might watch Netflix. I don't know where you watch it, where I watch it, but we can have conversations about the shows we watch," Spencer said. "I want gaming to evolve to that same level."

Spencer elaborated a little more, saying Microsoft is aiming to make Xbox a brand that gives people the freedom to play "where you want to play." For some people, playing on a console will be the best and most reliable way to play games for a long time. For those who don't want to invest in a console, Microsoft offers its games on PC as well, including Halo Infinite later this year. Additionally, Xbox games will be playable on your phone through streaming with xCloud.

Spencer went on to say that Microsoft remains committed to launching new consoles--he said there will likely be another Xbox after the Series X. "I don't think Xbox Series X is our last console. I think we will do more consoles to make that great television play experience work and be delightful," he said.

The executive also spoke about the unique position Xbox is in being owned by Microsoft, which is one of the largest and most deep-pocketed companies on the planet. "The nice thing about being in a company the scale of Microsoft is that we're able to make bets across a lot of those fronts, and we're not really dependent upon any one of those individual kinds of businesses or relationships to succeed,” he said.

For the Xbox Series X launch this year, Spencer said Microsoft is not focused on selling the most consoles. Instead, the company is trying to get people to sign up to become an Xbox user--wherever that might be. In the end, that's critical because the real money in the games business comes from software and services, not hardware sales.

In other Xbox news, Microsoft has confirmed that it did not delay an Xbox reveal event--the plan remains to show off Halo Infinite and other first-party games during a showcase in July.

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