The console wars have begun once again with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, but Phil Spencer thinks their time has passed.
While both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are currently competing for peoples’ attention and money (though neither Microsoft or Sony are willing to divulge how much they’ll actually cost), there is a subset of fans on both sides that are treating the upcoming releases a tad too seriously.
The console wars date back to as early as the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive, where many declared allegiances to one console/company and arguments were had over which was superior, usually to the point of being inflammatory and generally nasty.
This hasn’t completely gone away, with many still declaring certain consoles as winners of a generation (and this isn’t even getting into the PC master race stuff), but Xbox head Phil Spencer himself has now stated that it’s high time the console wars be abandoned, and people move on.
In an interview with The Washington Post, he says ‘This idea that in order for the industry to grow, some companies must succeed, and others must fail … it doesn’t help gaming reach the potential it should.
‘We should be driven to help gaming as an industry grow, for creators to take the biggest risks they can. When a great game comes out, we should applaud it, whether it’s for PC, or PlayStation or on a Switch.’
Spencer suggests that people use the energy spent on these arguments on more productive conversations regarding actual issues that the industry suffers from.
‘We should focus on this industry that we love and see it continue to grow. And we should protect it from the issues that it does have. If we’re going to spend energy, let’s go spend it on those things, not ‘my piece of plastic is better than your piece of plastic.’ I don’t think that’s a productive conversation.’
It isn’t surprising for Spencer to have this mindset, as he has openly congratulated Sony on its handling of the PlayStation 5.
In a separate interview with German outlet GameStar, Spencer also commented on how Microsoft is trying to give its studios as much freedom as possible with how they make games for the new console.
While it was confirmed that the Xbox Series X wouldn’t have any first party exclusives at first, with all of Microsoft’s titles to be made available on the Xbox One as well, Spencer explained that other developers aren’t beholden to the same rule.
‘If a creator comes to us and says ‘No, I really want to focus on next generation’ with their games, we’re completely open to that and we’re very supportive of that. If a creator comes to us and says I have this vision for reaching these customers across different platforms and different generations, we’re completely supportive of that.
‘It is really about our creators having choice and allowing them to build the games that they want to build to reach the audience that they’re looking for and not things that we’re mandating to our creators in terms of what they have to go do.
‘It’s not our rules for our platform, it’s more about creators creating the games that they want to go build looking ahead.’
The Xbox Series X is scheduled to release this year in time for Christmas.
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