As Microsoft refocuses its messaging for the Xbox One around video games, Phil Spencer, the new Head of Xbox, today admitted the company made some missteps with its release last year.
In an interview with Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hyrb, he suggested the company had made some poor choices over the last 12 months.
“There are two sides to the ledger,” he said. “There is a lot of learning that I did as a leader in the organisation, when I just heard how our message resonated with people and some of the decisions that we made, that I think were actually the wrong decisions, and we had to revisit those decisions.”
Spencer appeared frank in the interview and reiterated Microsoft’s renewed focus on video games for the Xbox One. In his opening response, he said the console needed to be “gaming first” and have the “stamp of the gamer”. While responding to subsequent questions from Hyrb, he frequently referred back to the importance of video games for the system.
“E3 is a big time in our industry,” he added. “We know that this E3 is really important for us. People are looking for ‘okay, what is this change in Xbox, and what does it mean to have a Head of Xbox that’s really focused on games?’ E3 is a great gaming show and I want to make sure that when we’re there, the fans hear us and understand why we’re there.”
The mistakes that Microsoft made with the Xbox One are well documented. The furore surrounding the console’s “always on” connectivity requirements, which were removed before release, and the focus on live TV and Kinect-enabled commands simply didn’t resonate as the company had hoped.
It’s usually gamers that adopt a new console at launch and this is likely why Sony is performing so well with its new PlayStation 4 console. Microsoft is shifting quickly to change its reputation, with heavy marketing for its flagship first-person shooter Titanfall in particular. Spencer’s background and passion for gaming should also help to freshen up its beleaguered image.
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