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Phil Spencer on the Xbox One reveals: "An event very focused on the Xbox as a TV platform"

At E3 2019, Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Xbox, spoke with GameSpot about the history of Xbox One, some of the issues the console encountered during the launch and future prospects for the next generation. Although there is a lot of anticipation about the future of Xbox Scarlett, our discussion goes back to the beginning of the Xbox One, to Microsoft's response to the Sony PlayStation 4 – and to the mistakes committed by Microsoft during the first presentation of the console to the players.

In 2013, online gaming, connectivity and the cloud were poised for unprecedented next-generation growth – and Microsoft wanted to be at the forefront of the new console experience. However, the platform manufacturer initially had trouble explaining what the new console represented, and the current Xbox director remembers it too well.

"If you come back and look [the reveal], what you'll see is an event that was very Xbox-focused as a TV platform, "said Spencer. We showed things like The Price is Right, for example. In fact, I think the first piece of content we've ever seen on an Xbox One was a TV show. "

In May 2013, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One console, a console announced as the new link for home entertainment. Before the revelation, Microsoft and their new product, Durango, had already faced a difficult battle. In previous months, the reactions of former Microsoft executive Adam Orth, who downplayed consumers' concerns about the possibility that the next console will only be online, were still present in the news. spirit of many. So while entering, Microsoft had some ground to cover. Taking place in Redmond, Washington, on the Microsoft campus, this event – also with a code name, Newcastle – was supposed to be the highlight of the console. But as history shows, things did not go as planned. Spencer then described the atmosphere that followed the event and how the employees were not satisfied with what they saw.

"If you were an employee of the Xbox team, then you were [a part of a team of] thousands of people working on the Xbox. But there are a handful of people who stand in front of cameras, on the stage and talk about things. There may be a gap between – Why does this person say that? This is not the product I'm building "or" Why are we doing this? This is not what I think we should do. "

As the first representation of the console, it was a strongly promoted event. In the opening edit, developers and game personalities both talked about the potential of the new platform, and even filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams praised the new material. . The main thing to remember from the revelation event was that the Xbox One was touted as more than just a video game console, but rather a new home entertainment experience. This feeling was clearly expressed during the first half of the event, which offered viewers a flood of movies and TV shows that could be viewed on the Xbox One. The first games to appear would be EA Sports titles, long after 30 minutes have passed. Spencer pointed out in our interview that the revelation was missing the purpose of correctly showing what the console was.

The reactions of employees, whether they are said or not, are as follows: "We have been working very hard for two years to ship this product. You go on stage at this event and explode all the good work we have done talking about the product in a way that does not really fit the soul of an Xbox console and that our customers are waiting for us. & # 39;

At the time, he was vice president of Microsoft Studios, which involved overseeing the next exclusive games at the platform. Once on the scene, this event marked the beginning of the games part of the presentation. During his speech, the event featured upcoming games such as Forza Motorsport 5, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Halo 5 and Remedy's Quantum Break, which also put the spotlight on Angle of the television. Although Spencer understood the intention of introducing the new Xbox as a home entertainment console, he explained that this only confused and frustrated the general public. This feeling was evident when he and other Xbox executives watched the reactions of consumers and their employees.

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"The reactions of the employees, whether they say it or not, were as follows:" We have been working hard for two years to ship this product. You are on stage at this event and you blow up all the good work we have done. "Speaking about the product in a way that does not really fit the soul of an Xbox console and what our customers expect from us," Spencer said in describing the frustration of the employees. "I think the team is just disappointed because she's feeling disappointed by the management team and I would say that's the feeling that I've heard the most from On the part of the team I've had people moved, as they read the forums and people are accusing us of being dishonest with them or having bad intentions as to why we were making the product we were, and if you are a member of the team, you do not necessarily see everything that's going on. "

The reactions of the revealing event prompted management to move away from home entertainment and focus on the games for the 2013 E3. The game that opened the series was Metal Gear Solid V: The phantom pain. Don Mattrick, former president of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, reportedly even said that the 2013 E3 was "entirely games-oriented". In its first year, Xbox One had trouble using its messages, especially the concept of functionality still online. The following year, Phil Spencer is promoted to the head of the Xbox, which marks the beginning of significant changes for the platform. This included the controversial decision to remove Kinect from the console, selling the Xbox One at a lower price.

More exclusive coverage of Phil Spencer

Throughout our interviews, the head of the Xbox has had more to say on several topics of the current world of the game. In addition to talking about the current state of the games on the cloud and the so-called war of the consoles, Spencer also explained what the future holds for Next-Gen consoles and the Xbox brand. Discover all our coverage in the related stories below.


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