Xbox One vs. PS4? Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Is Thinking "Beyond" That
"Honestly, I'm not focused on doing things purely to outsell PS4 with our Xbox One."
A lot is made of the Xbox vs. PlayStation sales race, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has his sights "beyond" that discussion. In an interview with GI.biz, Spencer said, "Honestly, I'm not focused on doing things purely to outsell PS4 with our Xbox One. We're doing things beyond that."
Some of the "things" Spencer is referring to include the strides announced this week. These included new Xbox platform features such as Play Anywhere and more Xbox Live elements, as well as hardware announcements in the form of the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.
Spencer's comments came in response to GI.biz's question about why Microsoft no longer announces Xbox One sales numbers. Instead, Microsoft reveals monthly active users on Xbox Live every three months during the company's earnings reports. Spencer said it is in fact "riskier" to share these numbers instead of hard sales figures.
"I will say over and over the core of our strategy is to drive more and more engagement on Xbox Live, which means more people playing games, which means more games get sold for our partners and our customers are more happy," he said. "And that is the total focus.
"The last number we announced was 48 million monthly active users... And certain people say that's a cop out that we focus on the monthly active users. I would like to say it's actually more risky than install base. Install base always goes up. Monthly active users, actually, year-over-year can go down if people are less engaged on Xbox."
It is believed that Sony's PS4 holds a significant sales advantage over the Xbox One. By Sony's latest count, it has sold more than 40 million systems.
In September 2015, Spencer told GameSpot that he feels the ongoing console-versus-console feud raging rampant in online forums, comment sections, and social networks is something he finds "distasteful."
"I've said before, the one thing that I probably find a little distasteful in the discourse around games is the divisiveness that people try to build between platforms," he explained.
"It becomes more about what piece of plastic I own than what games I'm playing. It becomes more about somebody else failing than the things I love succeeding. I don't think that's a good place for our industry."
Executives from Microsoft and Sony have spoken kindly to one another on Twitter. Recently, Spencer congratulated Sony on the launch of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, while Sony praised Microsoft for launching the Xbox One in 2013.