Xbox One's Parity Clause Meant to Make Owners Feel "First Class"

Phil Spencer discusses Microsoft's policy of requiring that indie games launch on Xbox One at the same time as on other platforms.

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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has further elaborated on the purpose of Microsoft's controversial indie parity clause, which requires that indie games launch on Xbox One at the same time as other platforms, saying it's meant to make Xbox owners feel "first class."

"The thing I worry about is--because I look at all the people who buy an Xbox, and they invest their time and their money in Xbox One, and, as millions of people obviously own Xbox Ones, I want them to feel like they're first-class, because they are," Spencer said on The Inner Circle podcast. "When a third-party game comes out, it comes out on all platforms at the same time, and when indie games come out, I want them to come out and I want Xbox to feel like it's a first-class citizen when an indie game launches.

"So, for me, the parity thing is, if you own an Xbox One, I want to work for you to make sure that when great content launches, if it's coming to Xbox and another platform, that you kind of get it at the same time everybody else does," he continued.

"I don't want somebody to come in and just think 'I'm going to go do a special game on one platform and then I'll get to Xbox whenever I get to it,' because I don't think that's right."

The parity clause has been a contentious issue, with some developers speaking out against it and even Sony taking a shot at it. But Spencer insists it isn't a blanket, uncompromising policy that will negatively affect indie developers if it's simply a matter of them not having the resources to develop on multiple platforms at the same time.

"That said, I have a lot of friends that run small indie studios, and I get that timelines around when--they just can't get both games done at the same time, all three games, all four games, depending on how many platforms they're supporting," Spencer explained. "So I always just say, 'Let's have a conversation.' And it's worked; today, I think we've done a good job of working with the indies on, when they've had parity concerns, if it's just a dev issue for them."

If it isn't a matter of resources and a developer is making a conscience decision to favor other platforms over Xbox, that's where Spencer takes issue.

"But I don't want somebody to come in and just think 'I'm going to go do a special game on one platform and then I'll get to Xbox whenever I get to it,' because I don't think that's right," he said. "And I think, as Xbox One customers, we want good games when they come out on both platforms. But I also get that, hey, for some guys, they just can't afford the time to get both done, so we've just entered into conversations with people as they're launching, and I feel pretty good about the plan."

Despite that clear stance, it's possible things could be changing. Spencer's comments on the podcast resulted in new criticism of the parity clause on NeoGAF, among other places, a fact which was brought to his attention on Twitter. "I see the feedback on my stance on the clause, I want to rethink how we approach this, responses are heard," he said in response.

This is, of course, no guarantee that the parity clause is going away, but critics will no doubt be pleased that Spencer is at least entertaining the notion of making changes.

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sladakrobot

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Xbox game division chief wants the best possible for the owners of the X1!

X1 owners like to hear that,others not.
*close the comment section*

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Flyincloud1116

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<< LINK REMOVED >> If words from a corporate fatcat makes you feel better, something is wrong with you.

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EpicJ88Z

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Tell sony fans that

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swedishfriend

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Most of the Sony people in charge since after the PS3 launch are game developers. It shows with their approach to the PS4 hardware and putting games front and center no matter how small or big the budget.

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Crabjock

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ctrl f "Fanboy".


All you need to know about the discussion below.


That is all.

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cuteboi100

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I actually think that the parity clause is a great idea. If you've ever owned a console, you know you just want to play really great games. And seeing exclusives on one platform or another really hurts.

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bejito81

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<< LINK REMOVED >> well I'm sad for others, but just don't buy the wrong one

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rem234

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I think its funny. At this point anything anyone says in the industry, whether MS, Sony, Nintendo. All it does is lead to more and more anger by everyone.


That the expression of wanting to provide the best experience to your customers somehow now = I don't want anyone else to enjoy anything is absurd to me.


That we all hear him talk about how they are more than willing to talk to devs who need the extra time and resources, now = we either want you to release with us or go away.


Do people see the actual words being read, or is it at this point that we all decide how we are going to interpret those words without regards to their actual statement anymore.


If we don't like the practices then we can voice that, and they have been listening. Even now he said he was looking into fixing it for devs. So great.


Have fun gaming wherever you choose to game.

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EpicJ88Z

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So much wrong In that post

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b74kd3th

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Don't be mad that MS has money and power

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Martyr77

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Be mad that they are corrupt, don't care about their own fanbase, and try to take steal any dollar they can with a weak console.

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jameshubert12

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<< LINK REMOVED >> and thats why sony are doing a rental scheme...says everything there really...well with MS at least you get to KEEP games you get with a subscription instead of just playing it until subscription runs out...

not a fan boy just stating it as your comparing both IDENTICAL SPEC based systems and obviously thinking that the other is weaker in comparison...lol

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bejito81

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> the SPECS of X1 and PS4 are NOT IDENTICAL, if you think the opposite you should learn to read and more


concerning the fact you can keep the game from Xbox, ok it is better than Sony, but since you need to pay to get to play online, when you start subscribing you usually don't stop so not much a difference in the end

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jameshubert12

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@bejito81 @jameshubert12 @Martyr77 YOU'RE obviously a m0ron, they are the fuking same you fuk tart... your only basing it because the GPU in ps4 is slightly overclocked....ohhhhh dumb@ss... go back to school I think you need lessons on reading...

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bejito81

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@jameshubert12 if you went to school, they should have teach you that 1.8 is 50% bigger than 1.2


this means that PS4 GPU is 50% more powerfull than X1 GPU

it is the same difference between a car at 120 and 180 km/h (or mph if you prefer)


it is a huge difference, so you can LIE to yourself as much as you want


but as for now and forever most games are running better on PS4 since hardware is better it is a fact


and insulting me only serves to prove more that I'm right and that you have nothing to defend yourself

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deactivated-5a1d4b615a3a3

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It has 50% more silicon but that never translates to actual performance, anyone who is a PC gamer should know this. Performance does not scale laterally, that 50% more silicon would only result in a 20-30% performance advantage, also consider that the X1 GPU is clocked higher than the PS4 GPU and the performance deficit shrinks further.


Yes the PS4 has a more capable GPU but anyone that thinks it provides 50% more power really knows nothing.

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EpicJ88Z

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Ps fanboys gonna fanboy

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Kyelo

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<< LINK REMOVED >> ...that makes 75% of cross platform games perform better(or would if they weren't restricted, I'm looking at you Ubisoft)on the PS4. That is a real difference

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nurnberg

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Nice click-bait.

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deactivated-57bac25e99ee3

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First class because Phil Spencer says so? That's pretty arrogant if you ask me; the first class players are the ones who make an informed decision based on the practices and attitude of the company behind the system. It seems quite clear to everyone right now that Xbox is just holding back gaming in general right now; they don't care about pushing new ideas, they're continuing to put restrictions on indie developers and now they're making shady deals to force games back to their level because they won't admit they were the ones who cut corners with their hardware in the first place.

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rem234

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<< LINK REMOVED >> How is that arrogant? He wants the people who buy his console to be treated well, and somehow that is arrogant. Not really seeing that.


These so called shady deals are asking indies to release games at the same time across platforms. Which they have also clearly just said, that if it is not possible to do so, they are more than willing to hear it out and either help them or work it out.


Honestly PS should have taken at least a similar stance for a while now, might have helped a lot of the ps3 indie titles not be released so far behind.

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TheCyborgNinja

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It's a definite 180 from Mattrick's "screw you, practically everyone who cares!"

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Kunakai

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Since when did third party indie games make anyone feel "first class"?

"But I don't want somebody to come in and just think 'I'm going to go do a special game on one platform and then I'll get to Xbox whenever I get to it,' because I don't think that's right,"

Sadly for you Mr Spencer, I think it is right that developers choose in which order and what platform they release THEIR games on! I don't think it's right that you discourage developers from making software for your machines.

"If it isn't a matter of resources"

Indie developers aren't usually tied to big publishers, meaning more often than not it IS a matter of resources!


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Millard11

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If MS gives you the resources to build a game on their system for free the expect a return for their gamers. It makes a lot of sense for them to do this because it is in the best interest for the people who bought their console. Why would you give away your service for free to a developer and not expect something in return. You are just so blinded by hatred for Microsoft for some reason that you are failing to look at this issue with reason and common sense.

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Darkhol0w

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If they wanted to feel first class they should get a PC because X1 or even PS4 can't reach half a decade old standards. :P

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ChunkMonk

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I have a PS4 and a PC, for which I have just bought a GTX970. But let's be honest, outside of hardware specs the PC is just not the supreme overlord people say it is because it gets far too many wonky ports. For example, Watchdogs and its stuttering was a joke.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Consoles can't reach a decades old standard and yet people still don't give a sh*t about PC, which shows what level PC is really on.

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junoh315

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It's something you can't just get into normally. You have to learn about PCs and actually be somewhat good with them or end up spending more money. If that's not first class then I don't know what to call it.

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deactivated-5fbd0ee14cee1

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Microsoft: Making sure everyone else stays at the back of the bus

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ocula-nervosa

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I couldn't concoct a better metaphor than that. :D

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BrunoBRS

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so his policy is "better never than late"? because that's stupid and snobbish. "i'm a first class citizen, you didn't give me the game at the same time as other people, now you don't get to release it on my system!"


all the clause does is assure the games don't get released on their system. if a dev has to choose between "stretch resources thin and go out of my way to get it on xbox one" and "just skip the damn thing and get sh!t done", guess which one they'll choose?

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rem234

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<< LINK REMOVED >> If you read it, its talking about getting games working for all systems at the same time. And even then if it is not doable, they are more than happy to talk about it and work on a solution. They just dont want to have a system that gets a release scheduled for a year after it was already out.

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BrunoBRS

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> and if someone had to pick just one platform to release it first (like 99% of indies), they'd probably go for PC first, save some incentive, and only then work out on ports (see no man's sky, except they're going first PS4 then PC) . the clause effectively excludes games from the xbox library because of petty pride (once again, no man's sky. they had to do one platform at a time, guess which system isn't getting it because of a silly "i want to be first class" clause).

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nikon133

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> They are happy to talk about something with no reasons to be talked about, have they not enforced it in a first place - how nice of them. Of course, they are perfectly happy to get or even pay time-limited exclusivity.

Developers should be free to decide what and when they do things, especially Indies. MS, Sony, Nintendo... shouldn't be allowed to do things like this, unless they take risks and invest in game development in advance.

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robbiejones

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I think even the most "hardcore" xbox fans threw up a little reading this.

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allever

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It's more like he's saying if the game is not released on Xbox One first, they don't want it. It's just MS being arrogant as usual.

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deactivated-5aa080b4ab96f

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<< LINK REMOVED >>"So, for me, the parity thing is, if you own an Xbox One, I want to work for you to make sure that when great content launches, if it's coming to Xbox and another platform, that you kind of get it at the same time everybody else does," he continued.


where in that small paragraph does it say they want it first?

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allever

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The whole controversy with the Xbox One parity clause is either release the game at the same time as other consoles or not at all. Meaning, if you release a game on PS4 first, then don't bother releasing it on Xbox One.

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rem234

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Actually that is wrong there. The parity is to help ensure that content comes out at the same time as other systems. However if you read what Phill actually said, Xbox is more than willing to talk to the indies and give the leeway they need. And they have done this for a lot of developers already.

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allever

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> How is my comment wrong? I just said the same thing you did, but from a different perspective. MS want it released at the same time.

If MS is more willing to talk to indies to give leeway, there wouldn't be any reason for having it in the first place. That comment doesn't really say much. 99% of indie developers are still bound by it.

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deathwish026

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> people see only what they want to see - Nicolas Rush

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deadmarv

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But this douchebag has no trouble paying off companies to get their DLC first? What a hypocrite.

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deathwish026

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<< LINK REMOVED >> name a company that doesent do that lol.. see where you are being foolish now ?

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junoh315

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Valve doesn't do that.

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chaosmagicka

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Other companies do do that but they do not pull this bs MS is. So I would say you are being foolish, not him.

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rem234

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@chaosmagicka @deathwish026 @deadmarv No, PS would never do that. Destiny certainly, is not an example where some of the DLC is there before if arrives on Xbox. Nope. Only MS would ever pay for timed DLC.

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deathwish026

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<< LINK REMOVED >> if you think one is worse then the other then you are obviously blind towards your preferable console. sony is just as bad as microsoft. hell i think nintendo are the actual good guys of gaming!

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Jinzo_111887

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Nintendo, Steam, and GOG seem like real winners to me. No online multiplayer fees, Steam has frequent sales, and GOG doesn't use DRM.

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HumdingerMarkie

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I feel like there's better ways to go about this.

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