Xbox "Going Big" At E3 2019 After Sony Drops Out
"It's go time," Spencer says.
E3 2019 is going to be a big year for Xbox at E3, it seems. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said on a recent podcast that Microsoft's showing at E3 this year will be "as big" as it's ever been for Xbox, and one reason why might be because Sony is dropping out of E3.
Speaking to Major Nelson, Spencer started off by saying, "This is going to be a fun E3 for us." He recalled an internal Microsoft conversation about E3 after the "news" that dropped last year about E3, which is presumably a reference to Sony skipping the show.
"There was some news about E3 back in the fall. We had a discussion internally about, 'Should we go big?' 'Should we save some money?' 'What does that mean?' We decided, no [we're not going to save money], we're going to do our thing," Spencer said. "We're going to go and be as big at E3 as we've ever been. I love that opportunity."
Right now, with about five months to go before E3 2019, Microsoft is in the midst of thinking about how and who the company can get to come on stage, Spencer said. The company is also talking about if the company wants to talk about titles and products coming in the short-term versus the long-term. Spencer said he personally likes to be transparent, but he's also mindful of being careful not to announce something too early.
Spencer didn't get into specifics, but he said the content lineup from Xbox for E3 2019 is already "great." The company also plans to talk about the future of Xbox and more about what the Xbox brand means--beyond console. The Xbox is a console, but there are "millions" of people who spend time and money on Xbox outside of the console family through PC and mobile, Spencer pointed out. At E3, he wants to let people know that they don't need to own an Xbox to be part of the Xbox community.
Also in the interview, Spencer talked about Xbox's position in 2019, saying the groundwork that Microsoft put down in recent years will really begin to pay off this year. Quoting George W. Bush, Spencer said, "This is a year where it's not strategery--we're going to roll up our sleeves and we're going to show. I love that. Now it's go time."
One of the new platforms Microsoft has in the works for gaming is Project xCloud, which is the working title for the company's game-streaming service. It's already up and running, and Spencer said he was using it during his travels at the end of 2018. It'll probably be "years" before streaming becomes the primary way people play games, but the technology is coming together, Spencer said.
Additionally, Spencer discussed Microsoft's recent spree of studio purchases. One of the reasons Microsoft bought and set up a total of seven studios in six months was to create a catalog of titles that "surprise and delight" fans, and release on a "regular cadence." Microsoft has been criticised in recent years for not having enough compelling first-party content, and Spencer acknowledged that Microsoft's first-party lineup is "so different" than what it's been over the past five years. He also shared an anecdote from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who apparently said he's eager and happy about Microsoft investing so heavily in teams that will make exclusive content for Xbox going forward.
One of Microsoft's announcements at E3 2019 could be a new console. Spencer has already confirmed that Microsoft is working on multiple new consoles. According to Brad Sams, one is a disc-free streaming box and another is a console more powerful than the Xbox One X.
E3 2019 takes place June 11-13, 2019 in Los Angeles. While Sony is backing away, the show is expected to be a very big one full of surprises and reveals of all kinds.