Xbox One boss recalls "wrong" decisions from last summer, promises "gamer-first" approach going forward

New Head of Xbox Phil Spencer discusses last summer's policy reversals, says a two-way dialogue with fans will be important going forward.


In his first video interview as Head of Xbox, Microsoft's Phil Spencer acknowledged the company's shortcomings and promised a brighter future for Xbox One going forward. In the Xbox-produced video, Spencer addressed the company's controversial (and since-reversed) Xbox One policies, saying it was the right move to change some of these.

"When I heard how our message resonated with people...some of the decisions that we made that I think were actually the wrong decisions and we had to revisit those decisions," he said.

Spencer did not say which policies he was specifically referring to, but he's likely talking about the Xbox One's controversial used-game and online check-in systems, which Microsoft changed in a surprising about-face last summer following E3.

Though the past year has seen its struggles for Spencer and the Xbox team, he also made clear Microsoft also accomplished a lot in shipping the Xbox One. The company sold 3 million systems in under two months and Spencer said Xbox Live activity and engagement is strong. Indeed, people spend an average of 5 hours per day on Xbox One across games and entertainment.

Going forward, Spencer vowed to deliver a "gamer-first" approach for the Xbox One and said it will be critical that Microsoft has an open dialogue with consumers about the system.

"That two-way dialogue between us and the fans will be important as we drive this product forward," Spencer said about the Xbox One. "I think it's going to be a foundational element to the culture of this organization. I want the two-way dialogue; we hear what fans say, they have great ideas, and we should use that as an input to how we build our product."

Finally, Spencer stressed that though the Xbox One has been a successful launch, he and his teams still have "a lot of work" ahead of them. This is what drives him to get up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and come to work, he said.

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