With Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7 already on the cards, Sony is off to a strong start, but Xbox chief Phil Spencer isn't worried at all, saying that the Xbox Series X is less about exclusives and more about the players and the supporting ecosystem.
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Talking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Spencer said he feels that people are "too caught up in device competition," explaining that Microsoft's approach is to accommodate the player. While the new hardware should be celebrated, it shouldn't be a barrier to play.
Spencer says that the technical advancements like load times, framerate, graphical fidelity, and input latency should be 'applauded', but ultimately, "that should not exclude people from being able to play," adding, "that's our point. How do we create an ecosystem where if you want to play an Xbox game, we're going to give you a way to go play it?"
To that end, nabbing console exclusives is somewhat counterproductive to the overarching strategy that Xbox has adopted.
"As a player you are the centre of our strategy. Our device is not the centre of our strategy, our game is not the centre of the strategy. We want to enable you to play the games you want to play, with the friends you want to play with, on any device.
"On TV, the Xbox console is going to be the best way to play console games. Xbox Series X is the most powerful console out there and it will have absolutely the best versions of our console games. But that's not to exclude other people from being able to play."
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Spencer proceeded to fire off a few shots at Sony and its penchant for securing some amazing platform exclusives, saying that its approach misses the point of gaming entirely, and got on his self-proclaimed soapbox to conclude:
"Gaming is about entertainment and community and diversion and learning new stories and new perspectives, and I find it completely counter to what gaming is about to say that part of that is to lock people away from being able to experience those games. Or to force someone to buy my specific device on the day that I want them to go buy it, in order to partake in what gaming is about.
"Gaming is bigger than any one device, and that is something as an industry that we've embraced all up as we bring more and more players in. I think it's vital to the role that gaming can play on the planet."
So either Xbox is going to be woefully short on exclusives, or Spencer's strategy will see the tides turn in Microsoft's favour as it does away with the barriers to play, and puts the player first.