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In Phil We Trust

October 13, 2015

imageThank goodness the Xbox One has Phil Spencer. That is not an understatement. Let’s face it; the dude knows gaming and the business. Spencer has kept it cordial with his Sony counterpart, Shuhei Yoshida, by congratulating the PS4 of their successes. He’s shown marketing savvy by essentially forcing the PS4 to lower their price. Spencer doesn’t shy away or avoid the hard questions. In fact, he’s been brutally candid with his thoughts that the XB1 will most likely never catch up with the PS4. Competition is necessary to spur innovation and quality. Spencer tweeted, “Our long-term Xbox vision isn’t about competitors, it’s about gamers. We’ll stay focused there.”

Spencer has led the charge for all of the improvements that we’ve seen and experienced so far on our console of choice. In many ways, MS wouldn’t have made so many consistent improvements to the OS if the XB1 were in first place. We’re averaging two updates per week on the NXOE, and two updates per month on the Preview Program. If the XB1 were leading in console sales, we’d only see updates twice a year (spring & fall) like the 360 had. The Windows 11 & XB1 connection, removing the Kinect, backwards compatibility, Minecraft (Mojang) acquisition, and Oculus Rift partnership are clear examples of the major strides that he’s made since he took over the helm. It doesn’t hurt that Satya Nadella, MS CEO, supports the games division & the new strategy going forth.
One of the best quotes that really demonstrates his commitment to the XB1 base was recently made to Geek Wire. Spencer states,”I was a member of the leadership team that launched the Xbox One and I’ve never tried to dodge the decisions that were made and the sentiment around [those] decisions. I was there. I was at the table, and I feel like I have no credibility in building a path forward if I don’t first acknowledge that…For me I think what we fundamentally lost was the trust of our most loyal customers, whether it was always on, used games; whatever the feature was we lost the trust in them that they were at the center of our decision-making process. Were we building a product for us, or were we building a product for the gamers?” That takes some brass balls and humility to admit those opinions.

For the rest of this generation, Mattrick’s stink will continue to linger around like a Snickers bar in underwear that needs to be burned & buried. He pooched the graphics on the insistence of bundling the Kinect 2.0. In addition, MS should have never taken the side of those cowardly publishers by implementing that FUBAR used games plan. The outrage and disgust on that issue alone hamstrung the XB1’s adoption. You can bet that MS will never take the lead on the used games issue in the future. The extra $100 price tag for a peripheral that no one asked for only helped further the disdain. The inability to explain the always on requirement and other strategies added an air of incompetence. At least, that mofo is no longer employed in gaming any longer since he was terminated at Zynga. I doubt that any game company would ever take a chance on that idiot again. Also, Phil Harrison, former VP of Sony Europe, was allowed to resign because he was just another mouthpiece and hire of Mattrick. Good riddance to those two buffoons. I hope for our sakes that Phil keeps bringing us positive strides and forward thinking.

Click the link for a solid article about Phil Spencer turning the XB1 around.

  1. October 14, 2015 12:40 am

    Basically, they have turned around everything with which I had a problem.

    I called almost every single misstep they took back at the unveil E3. Ironically, the only point that I was open to hearing more about was the DRM stuff, which was the only point that people here were bitching about because at that time, everyone was disc based. It wasn’t until 6 months after launch, that I resigned myself to the fact that Microsoft would never admit their mistakes, and missing my friends, I bought one when in Canada.

    The whole thing has affected my bottom line and my gaming convenience more than the RRoD ever did. As long as they stay on this new course, I will be ready to move to their next console (though probably not at launch – but never say never). If, however, they pull another bs unveil of the next gen system. I won’t even think twice. That will be the end of it. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. (And with the RRoD, they already burnt a lot of people once).

    Under Mattrick, they never would have changed. Phil is even cooler and more “honest” than Peter Moore. For the butt sore loyal customers, he is a soothing balm, a hug after the spanking.

    Thanks for the heads-up on those quotes. It does take balls (and support from above) to do what he did. And for the loyal customers, it will go a long way. It also takes the venom out of Sony’s success, like the 8 Mile rapper calling himself a bitch.

    (P.S. I edited the Phil Interview into your post proper. Great stuff!)

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 14, 2015 1:06 pm

      The initial damage that was done still has long-lasting reprecussions to the XB1’s perception. Phil has commented several times about the disturbing findings that people are still under the impression that the console doesn’t play used games, requires the Kinect peripheral, and needs to always be connected to the Internet. Not only does the public believe that these defunct bullet points still exist, but incompetent retail employees perpetuate these falsehoods leading the uneducated consumer to choose the PS4 over the XB1. It also doesn’t help that these blantantly incorrect “facts” are reinforced by the haters and Sony fanboys.

    • October 14, 2015 5:00 pm

      Two things. All those decisions were, as MS has admitted, selfish and for the purpose of “owning” the customer. A little more “mutually beneficial” added into their formula might have prevented this disaster. Second, we the gamers win, and we win big. For this gen, we have paid at least an extra $150 and suffered through not one, but now two broken OSes. On the other hand, Microsoft is now very highly motivated to treat us well. Sony is thriving and as long as the rest of their ventures don’t sink their ship, the PS4 will be treated like the crown jewel that it is. (But it was Microsoft’s throne to lose.) And Sony will continue strong into the next generation.

      Because of that, Xbox customers have another generation and a half of guaranteed love lavished upon them. As you mentioned in your post, Microsoft is committed to the success of Xbox all the way to the top, and they have the resources to make good on that commitment.

    • October 14, 2015 5:06 pm

      All I see is games, games, games.

    • October 14, 2015 9:20 pm

      I don’t think it is quite fair to call the new OS broken, because it is not out yet. The Windows 10 beta was full of bugs and issues before release, it is a great OS. We have opted in to beta test, and it is evident that they are looking at feedback/complaints and addressing them. The latest 500mb update has a lot of nice features and (possibly) resolved the party drop issue after a controller dying.

      So far, this generation has seen significant price drops and lots of great games. My main question is how long this generation will last… even Phil commented on not catching up to PS4 (in terms of sales) noting the “length of console cycle” (i’m not quoting directly). I am hoping it lasts at least 5 years, but my fear is that is wont lol.

      PS: With the “relationship” Microsoft has with intel (purchasing Havok). I wonder if the two will get in bed together for “the next box”. Intel’s CPUs have been the dominate CPU in the PC space for so long now (also Microsoft’s surface pro / surface book hardware run top of the line Intel CPUS).

    • October 14, 2015 10:41 pm

      It’s still a broken beta build until they fix it. Hopefully when it’s forced upon everyone it works. Still IMO there’s things that don’t work as well as the last OS even if it was functioning as intended.

      Wether the plus outweigh the minus, that only time will tell. I like the Win 10 on my laptop but the experience of the OS look alike on xb1 felt clunky.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 14, 2015 9:36 pm

      Zos is correct about the NXOE because it is a beta. We weren’t forced to opt-in, so to assign blame on its broken nature is unwarranted.

      As far as the acquisition of Havok goes, it would definitely be interesting if MS & Intel did indeed create a partnership for the next Xbox console. I don’t see this current generation lasting longer than four years simply because the technology gap is so wide now.

    • October 14, 2015 11:23 pm

      Yes, you guys are correct. And, in fact, the state of the Beta NXOE is already better than the latest build of the original OS. I wouldn’t go back now for the world.

    • October 14, 2015 11:30 pm

      As for launch, I will be surprised if the next Xbox comes out sooner than 5 years from the release of the One. If they put it out too early, then Sony will be able to say, “Wait another year and you will get twice as much as MS is promising now.”

      When MS does put it out, they need to go with bleeding edge graphics cards, 2 years ahead of the PC, as they did with the 360. Make Sony overextend themselves to compete. MS has the warchest.

      (I called that issue, though, too. As soon as the One specs were leaked.) (And Sony just reacts, they don’t lead. They wait until MS has shot their wad, and then 1 up ’em if they can.)

  2. October 14, 2015 7:15 pm

    After that crappy new xb1 OS and the PS4 exclusive contents I might consider a dual console approach in the future. Best of both worlds.

    PS4 doesn’t have games right now but it will at some point.

    The other thing is Redbox is now Next-Gen and having two consoles is a big plus at the time of renting out games.

    For SP games, PS4 is prettier. For MP games, xbox is better.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 14, 2015 9:21 pm

      The only thing that Sony has that interests me are the Uncharted & The Last of Us franchises. Basically, anything that Naughty Dog develops is solid and entertaining. In fact, those were the only games with the exception of TLoU that I played on the PS3. Killzone never interested me. I bought the first game, but lent it to a friend to play. I was finished with the God of War franchise a long time ago back when it was on the PS2, so that’s a moot point. Other than the Uncharted games, the PS3 was nothing but a dusty doorstop. Everything that interests me is on the XB1 platform.

  3. October 14, 2015 11:03 pm

    Well here’s the thing which was awesome last gen. PS plus free games were often better than xb1.

    The other thing is that ps3 and ps4 didn’t repeat as much like the xbox free games.

    Just by having a ps4/ps3 I have been able to collect games without even buying anything, and it’s a different library of games from xb1/360.

    Then adding to that Naughty Dog games and other exclusives, plus third party exclusives, and it adds up in the long run to have both.

    PS also had full game demos. Different publisher sales.

    My point is that having both means more now than it did back when PS3/360 started their cycle.

    The console war makes it better if you have both.

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