Microsoft’s original aim was to expand the console market far beyond just video games.
Remember the original vision for the Xbox One? It was all media centric, focused more on TV and streaming content than on games. It turns out there was an actual method to the madness to all that, however- Microsoft apparently had legitimate reasons for doing what they attempted to do with the Xbox One back then.
Their reasons? They were thinking big. Very big. They wanted the Xbox One to be the highest selling console of all time, selling 200 million consoles worldwide, where the highest selling one had only reached three quarters that number. And their reasoning was, they couldn’t appeal to that many people as just a games console- they needed the Xbox One to be something more, something more essential to people’s lives
“The goal that the team had was to figure out how could we sell 200 million game consoles,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said in an interview with Stevivor. “We’ve never seen a console sell that many units. The biggest individual console, the PS2, did 120 million or something like that. The approach the team took was people are moving to OTT Video Services [over-the-top, like Netflix and Stan] and television’s getting disrupted — and if we could build a console that could be at the center of this transition and really embrace not only people playing video games, but also people with the changing habits in television, you really take the console market and the gaming market and you expand it potentially.”
Of course, that was the vision under Don Mattrick- once Phil Spencer took the reigns of the Xbox division, he decided to trim the fat and focus on specifically delivering the most effective machine for gamers that they could make the Xbox One. In the end, that was probably for the best- though in the end, it also seems like the Xbox One will be a console with far more limited appeal than Microsoft originally intended it to be, too.