Phil Spencer On Xbox’s First Party Lineup: The Proof Will Be In What We End Up Doing

Let the games speak for themselves.

Posted By | On 02nd, Mar. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Microsoft has often been criticized for its lacking first party lineup- never more so than now, with some high profile cancellations leaving them with what looks to be a rather dire lineup of games, in number and variety. The old refrain of Halo/Gears/Forza has often been used to describe the Microsoft first party- and there is starting to be an element of truth to it these days.

Speaking on IGN’s podcast Unlocked, however, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft has some great things in the works, stating that the proof will ultimately be in the pudding, and that hopefully the lineup speaks for itself.

‘I’m incredibly proud of our lineup this year,’ he said. ‘I’ve said it before, but this will be an interesting year for us. We don’t have Gears, we don’t have a Halo first person shooter, and I get two sides on this. Some people say “every year it’s Halo/Gears/Forza,” and then we have a year that’s not those things, and people are like, “oh, now you’re in trouble!” But I look at Crackdown, I look at State of Decay 2, I look at Sea of Thieves, I’m having a great time with Halo Wars 2, and maybe there’s some things we haven’t talked about yet. But in the long run, I know having an incredibly strong first party lineup is incredibly important to this [business]. There’s a journey I needed to go through as a leader so I could be in a position where I could do more. And I think the proof will be in what we end up doing, and that’s how it will be judged.’

What could Spencer be referring to? Are there some major unannounced Xbox One exclusives that could hopefully exhibit the kind of whimsy and ambition that Microsoft used to in the early Xbox and Xbox 360 days. E3 can’t come soon enough.

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  • crazy_black_man-

    Here we go again with the same old line of

    • Old Skool


    • crazy_black_man-
    • ShowanW

      @doggystyle805:disqus how many of those games are you going to buy?…

      Choice is very good dont get me wrong, but it’s the BIG games that pay for those smaller games to be made…

    • Edonus

      Exactly….. I would buy maybe 4 of the games from that giant list.


      Four are 400% more that the ONLY one X1 has so far. And you dont even have a chance to choose between halo wars 2 or another.

    • J.j. Barrington

      But you’d buy everything Xbox ever made, right?

    • Edonus

      Not everything.

    • J.j. Barrington

      With the way you defend everything Xbox does, I don’t think there’s anybody who would find that hard to believe.


      So far x1 has one! ONE! theres not even choice there!

    • ShowanW

      i have 288 games or so for my Xbox One…

      i have like 11 or so on Playstation…

      every time i load up horizon zero dawn… all i think is, i wish i could use my elite wireless controller to play this…

    • J.j. Barrington

      So because you chose to get the interior versions of multiplats, that makes the XB1 better?

    • ShowanW

      The “inferior” graphics is very minuscule compared to much superior Elite controller customization and quality…

      Also prefer to use Kinect and navigate around as well

      And w/Project Scorpio coming along, its the best of everything (console wise) in a single box.

      There is a ton to the Xbox One that made me chose it over one aspect of a game.

      I buy Sony exclusives… The rest will probably always be Xbox

    • J.j. Barrington

      “The “inferior” graphics is very minuscule compared to much superior Elite controller customization and quality”

      For you to have that many games, you were buying your multiplats on XB1 before the Elite controller ever came out. Before it was announced, even. Makes this claim a bunch of BS, as it was your Xbox bias that led you to get the games on that console, not the “superior” controller. Besides, that’s an extra cost on top of the console’s price, and though it’s not made by Sony, the PS4 has its own “Elite” style controller, too.


      “Also prefer to use Kinect and navigate around as well”

      It’s slower in most cases than typical navigation… though that’s if you’re comparing it to the PS4. The Xbox itself was designed around using the Kinect for navigation, so not using it is actually less intuitive than otherwise. Again, though, it’s not as straightforward or responsive as using a controller on PS4.

      Weak X2.

      “And w/Project Scorpio coming along, its the best of everything (console wise) in a single box.”

      Speculation. Until they do more than tell us an arbitrary number they’re targeting, that claim is full of hot air. Even beyond that, it won’t come with VR in the box, and Microsoft has no VR solution, so you’d still be wrong. Oh yeah, and there’s still the matter of there just not being the same number or quality of games.

      “There is a ton to the Xbox One that made me chose it over one aspect of a game.”

      There’s really just one: that it’s on Xbox.

    • ShowanW

      Xbox base model controller is superior in every way as well…

      VR solution..?? Outside of RE just about all VR games are tech demos.. most are garbage.

      Scorpio wont be late to the party because the party doesnt have a dependable plethora of games right now…

      PS4 (base model) games look slightly better than Xbox Ine version… so its minuscule to me

    • J.j. Barrington

      “Xbox base model controller is superior in every way as well”

      You mean like superior in dead zone? Or in fighting games? Oh, wait, those two alone are better on the dualshock. No built-in speaker, either. And no way to be used for VR or motion control, soo..

      “Outside of RE just about all VR games are tech demos.. most are garbage.”

      Yeah… no. That’s just you downplaying VR because Microsoft doesn’t have their own headset. C’mon, your history is too obvious.

      “Scorpio wont be late to the party because the party doesnt have a dependable plethora of games right now…”

      What does that even mean? If you’re saying the competition doesn’t have a plethora of games, that’s just more Xbox fanboy talk. And more reason why nobody should take you seriously.

      “PS4 (base model) games look slightly better than Xbox Ine version… so its minuscule to me”

      Depends on the game, and the quality of your TV. That said, if you can’t see the difference between PS4 and XB1, you won’t be able to see the smaller difference between Pro and Scorpio… yet, somehow, I bet you’ll think the difference is massive.

    • ShowanW

      The dead zone on Xbox controller are exaggerated…and most tourneys use Xbox Controllers (preferred by the “pro gamer”) also you’re bragging about the speaker? That tinny speaker on the DS4 SUCKS dont dress it up to make it more than it is.

      “Its down playimg VR cause Xbox doesnt have VR” no its not this is very obvious and very true. No way around it. VR isnt even something that piques my interest. And there is literally only one AAA must have experienced for VR. All the other “VR experiences” dont NOT scream I GOTTA HAVE THIS ASAP!… we both know this is true. So once again there is no late to the party because the current VR party is kind of lacking. And this goes for the Oculous and Vive as well. “Superior VR soultion” yeah okay… As much flack as No Mans Sky gets, that should be in VR… Maybe Gravity Rush…

      I have a Sammy KS8500… and i never once didnt say i couldnt see the difference, i said the difference was minuscule to me. It wasn’t significant enough to warrant it over controller, OS, and Xbox Live…

      My history DOES scream Xbox its very obvious. But at least Ill buy a PlayStation to be play their offerings. Always have, most likely always will (as long as they continue to make some decent games)

    • J.j. Barrington

      “The dead zone on Xbox controller are exaggerated”

      They’re not, but keep telling yourself that.

      “and most tourneys use Xbox Controllers (preferred by the “pro gamer”)”

      When Microsoft sponsors the tournaments, you mean. After all, most people play the games on PlayStation, because the games sell the most there worldwide.

      “That tinny speaker on the DS4 SUCKS dont dress it up to make it more than it is.”

      And yet it’d be the best thing ever if it were in an Xbox controller, according to you.

      “VR isnt even something that piques my interest. And there is literally only one AAA must have experienced for VR.”

      So if you’re no interested in the first place, how can you even claim what is or isn’t must-have? Besides, now you’re using what YOU care about to justify why the console is better for OTHERS, and that’s not how it works.

      “So once again there is no late to the party because the current VR party is kind of lacking.”

      See above. Your own disinterest doesn’t determine whether or not someone’s behind the curve. You talked about best console out of the box; well, that’d require VR, something the XB1 doesn’t have, and Scorpio won’t. Whether YOU care about that or not is irrelevant.

      “My history DOES scream Xbox its very obvious.”

      Which is why you trying to list how many games you have on each console is pretty weak. People with less Xbox bias would have all those games on PlayStation, not because they’re fanboys, but because it makes more sense. You have both consoles, you get a game that’s on both consoles, you get it on the console that plays it better. This isn’t even like last gen, where you could grab the Xbox version cuz the friends you’d play with are more likely on Xbox. Across the board, more people are more likely to have most of their friends on PS4 this generation.

      “as long as they continue to make some decent games”

      Not sure why that’d even be something to worry about, but this raises another question: what about all the third party support PlayStation gets that Xbox doesn’t?

    • ShowanW

      I wouldnt want Microsoft to ever put a crap speaker in a controller for the sake of doin it.. tv (or surround sound) sound is more than fine.. if the DS4 speaker were quality i probably wouldnt mind it.. but the tinny sound sucks.

      VR is NOT a must have to me because there is currently only 1 must have game. $400 starting price for tech demos… Where is the value. If there were at least 4 AAA VR games on the market today and one trickling in every other month .. then my interest would be there. And then it would be considered a must have experience… and then my interest would be piqued… 6 or so AAA VR a yr now makes the device justifiable IMHO.

      Outside of Destiny.. the 3rd party content is whatever who cares about 30days and such.

      Also i still feel that Controller,Xbox Live, and Windows OS, are the better value overall…

    • J.j. Barrington

      “the 3rd party content is whatever who cares about 30days and such.”

      I was actually talking about the games. I’d hoped that bringing “third party support” up right after talking about games would have been a strong enough connection, but I guess not.

      “VR is NOT a must have to me”

      Who cares about you?

      “for the sake of doin it.”

      Cuz they had no reason, right?

      “there is currently only 1 must have game.”

      I wonder how many times you’re gonna say stuff like this, based entirely on your own heavily biased opinion? You don’t have interest, and you’re not trying to games out, so how do you know they’re tech demos? What’s considered a full game? What constitutes AAA for VR?

      And, again, your interest is irrelevant. The point is that the option isn’t even there for Xbox, meaning it CAN’T be the best in the box. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to, cuz you can’t do it on console unless you have a PS4.

      How hard is that for you to get?

    • ShowanW

      Most 3rd party support stem from Japan… Japanese dont really rock w/American consoles/brand its whatever. Some of their titles are okay.. but nothing to lose sleep about cause it didnt make it on Xbox…

      VR sales pretty much say that it’s currently now for everyone else either. Not only that, even people who have one, barely even talk about or even try to convince others to buy it. Once again, not enough compelling VR games to warrant picking up. Numbers dont lie.. now ur gonna say PSVR is leading all VR devices in sales… but all the sales still SUCK so thats not saying much. How come Sony themselves dont have at least 3-4 AAA VR games out by now despite having the device in development so long…

      Oh look the Wii Mote has a tinny speaker that sucks… we better jump on that just in case..

      When u see most gameplay of VR games, tell me what you see… a short lived vr tech experience… once again why hasnt Sony produced 3-4 AAA experiences so far? You had no problem doggin Microsoft for not having AAA Kinect games.. Looks like u wear blinders just as as I do.

      At least i can admit it.
      And at least i have experience with both to know what i like and dislike about them…

    • J.j. Barrington

      You just keep making excuses and justifying things.

      Can’t take you seriously.

    • ShowanW

      What excuse have I made?

      Japanese dont rock w/Xbox for the niche’ titles.. is what it is..

      VR isnt anything to write home about yet (never said this couldnt change)

      The Speaker on the Dual Shock 4 does suck and is tinny…

      Please bring my “excuses” to the forefront please…

    • J.j. Barrington

      To say it’s no loss because Japanese games aren’t there is making excuses, and it’s a horrible one.

      If you’re watching the games instead of playing them, you really aren’t getting the experience of VR. Almost everyone who actually HAS tried it has a different opinion of the medium than you do. That tells me you haven’t played anything there, but are disparaging VR because Microsoft doesn’t have anything to bring to the table. Otherwise, you’d be talking about being more fleshed out, rather than hiding behind the “AAA” moniker. Just like anything else, it doesn’t have to be AAA to be good and worth your money, but since all you can talk about is them being AAA, you’re not making a legitimate argument, but rather making an excuse.

    • ShowanW

      If Japanese devs dont want to support the Xbox for their non-mainstream games, then it is what it is. Why harp on about it?

      If Microsoft had a VR unit and no games guess what? Same result. Microsoft announced “Mixed Reality” for Xbox One and Scorpio.. without AAA games that last 4-5+hrs, and at least one new game every other month, theres no point.
      Ur right it doesnt have to be AAA VR games, they could be AA games in VR…

      $400+ for a device and the content isn’t consistent but im makin excuses…

    • J.j. Barrington

      Why harp on? Oh, I dunno. Maybe cuz you like games, and therefore you wanna have games to play? Maybe because, even if it’s “non-mainstream,” there are people outside yourself that LIKE those games? Maybe because when there IS a shortage of first party games, you can still entice people to buy or continue to play your console by having exclusives from other developers? I mean, who’s the Quantic Dream for Xbox? Who out there is putting out ANY big third party exclusives for Xbox?

      It’s not that you’re not ready to buy into VR yet. It’s that you’re disregarding that Sony has a VR headset on the market, and Microsoft isn’t even working on one. When talking about the consoles and what they can or already do, that’s a point in PlayStation’s favor. Whether you want to buy the device- and, indeed, it’s not even really on my radar yet- is a separate issue, altogether. But because you’re not interested, it doesn’t matter.

      That’s a fanboy’s way of thinking. That’s making excuses for the sake of your argument.

    • ShowanW

      Why hop on VR when they already saw how Kinect panned out? Why jump into the fire first hand?

      Microsoft did the smart thing and let 3rd party make units and create drivers that will work on Xbox. And once again, a viable solution for Xbox is coming without the competition being to far ahead, because the VR needle is barely moving.

      Xbox has been getting plenty of games.

      From PS4 launch to Bloodborne 2015, to Uncharted 4 (2016) to Last Guardian (2016), Nioh (’17), Yakuza (17′), Gravity Rush (17) that all took awhile, now after 3yrs ur making a games argument.

      Xbox was pretty consistent on games since the launch of the console

      Somy has about the same number of 1st party games on the market as Xbox does…

    • J.j. Barrington

      So their idea of showing they care about gaming is to let others do all the legwork?

      The needle is “barely moving” if you’re comparing VR to something else… which you shouldn’t be. That’s a stupid thing to do. But there could be more than 2 million PSVR units alone out in the wild by the time whatever there is for the Scorpio can even be used. If it takes 60+ million PS4s to do that many PSVR units, how many do you think the MUCH smaller Scorpio market is gonna push? Use your head a lil, man.

      What happened to inFamous and Killzone? What happened to The Show? DriveClub? LBP? Left Behind? First Light? Why do those games not count? They’re almost all before Bloodborne, so within the first few years of the console, not “after 3yrs.” And yes, note I left off The Order, since it was so controversial, even though I thought it was good, if short.

      Where’s the consistency for Xbox? You made the claim, but why didn’t you make a list of those games like you JUST did for PS4?

      About the same number, huh? Care to throw up a quick list of those XBox first party games? You do that, and I’ll do the PS4 first party stuff- you can add remasters if you want- and we can compare them.

      You game?

    • ShowanW

      do the leg work… other companies are only supplying a hardware..

      Microsoft did the legwork in supplying Windows Holographic Software
      Supply tech from their HoloLens Program..

      to say that partners are doing a majority of the work is completely false as Microsoft has worked with each and every one of those companies on a software front.


      VR games in general are not moving at rapid pace. If you are talking other VR experiences (like being in a shark tank, or a sky scraper, that seems to be moving at a much better rate)

      There has been: Be the Batman, Robinson the Journey, Elite Dangerous, Resident Evil… So far Resident Evil did it best, and the rest not so bad.

      But all in all, it’s not moving at rapid pace (as of now) for the most part, a lot of devs got cold feet about something that doesnt have a consistent standard (Vive, Rift, PSVR all VR, all different to some degree) nor enough of in the wild. If Microsoft can create a standard that works on Xbox and PC, that’s already an advantage (however slight it may be)

      Xbox One from launch to now
      Ryse (2013)
      Crimson Dragon (2013)
      Killer Instinct (2013)
      Dead Rising 3 (2013)
      Forza 5 (2013)
      TitanFall (2014) <— not first party I know
      Sunset Overdrive (2014)
      Project Spark (2014) (i know, i know.. but they took a chance)
      Halo 5 (2015)
      Forza 6 (2015)
      Ori (2015)
      Rare Replay (2015)
      Gears Ultimate (2015)
      Quantum Break (2016)
      Recore (2016)
      Gears 4 (2016)
      Forza Horizon 3 (2016)
      Dead Rising 4 (2016)
      Halo Wars 2 (2017)

      Killzone (2013
      Knack (2013)
      Resogun (2013)
      inFamous (2014)
      Last of Us remaster (2014)
      Drive CLub (2014)
      Little Big Planet 3 (2014)
      Bloodborne (2015)
      Rocket League (2015) they had it for like a yr so i put it up here.
      Until Dawn (2015) <— amazing game by the way
      Everybody Gone to Rapture (2015)
      Order: 1886 (2015)
      Uncharted 4 (2016)
      Last Guardian (2016)
      No Mans Sky (2016)
      Street Fighter (2016)
      Tales of Bersia (2016)
      PSVR (2016)
      Persona 5 (2016 Japan)
      Nioh (2017)
      Yakuza (2017)
      Gravity Rush (2017)

      Notice that the difference is neglible…
      Also notice this puts an end to "no games" when they are about close to equal..I even gave Sony Credit for Yakuza and Nioh, although they didnt produce either of those games..

      I also left out the smaller bite size games on both sides

    • Gamez Rule

      I looked at the games list and thought I’ll share these links.

      These are both PS4 and Xbox One lists of exclusive games ( Deselect all options apart from *Full & Console*)

      PS4 has more exclusives even when leaving out smaller bite sized games no matter how you look at it.

      But lets forget about games released last year and the years before that. What about this years releases?

    • Gamez Rule

      “Who out there is putting out ANY big third party exclusives for Xbox?”

      When you find out let me know. I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

      I want to know what TRUE/FULL console exclusives are coming for Xbone that are not classed as platform exclusives as all I wanted was games released exclusively on one platform and not games released exclusively on a family of console / PC like Quantum break.

    • J.j. Barrington

      A family of consoles is fine. Even console/PC is fine as long as it’s not your whole lineup.

    • Gamez Rule

      True, but it would be good to know that after buying a console there’s true/full exclusive games made for it, otherwise what’s the point. Example: Horizon Zero Dawn is only on PS4, so you need that console to play the game.

      I am lost nowadays on what games are only playable Xbone.

      I saw this exclusive game list and being fair it does seem that Xbone is falling way behind on games that only need the console.

    • J.j. Barrington

      There’s also excusing away the poor dead zones in the Xbox controller, or even championing the costly Elite controller, as if that was something you could count on, or something that would be typical of most Xbox owners.

      Overall, you made it sound like definitive reasons why the XB1 was better out of the box, but then it turns out you explain away anything that contradicts that by saying you don’t like those things anyway.

      That’s making excuses. And it’s pathetic.

    • ShowanW

      The Elite Controller is pricey but, not too steep but i dont regret the purchase at all…

      Everyone will always have their biases…

    • J.j. Barrington

      But letting your bias get in the way of your thinking… that’s what you’ve done.


      that only shows that YOU preffer x1’s controller, nothing more. Cause I know (without seeing them) that out of those 288 games more than 90% are also on ps4.

      But the fact that you preffer the controller, doesnt change the fact that the number of x1’s exclusives this part of the year is so scarce that reffering them as plural is actually a compliment.

    • ShowanW

      I dont play RTS games..

      But ive enjoyed every Xbox Exclusive to come out. Al lot of them offer some type of replay value.

      If there was no racer from Xbox for 2+yrs Forza Horizon 3 would still be the beat racer on the market .. Even w/GT coming out.

      Halo 5 campaign can be questioned.. But NONE of Halo 5 gameplay and mechanics can be. Even if Halo got a rest for 4+yrs, Halo 5 would still be one of the better shooters out.

      And when Im done gaming on PlayStation I simply turn it off… When Im done gaming on Xbox, I never turn it off.. Cause it offers a lot more functionality outside of gaming as well.


      Its probable that you end up being corrrect, but you cannot make the claim abut forza 3 just yet, let GT launch before you can judge it, until then, its just an assumption.

      No one is questioning helo 5 ‘s mechanics, but the point is that just last year there were 4 FPS that where as good or better than halo 5 (overwatch definetly better), so its not like you are missing out a lot if you dont get halo when there are so many other similar or better options.

      That again is just your opinion, PS4 also lets you stream music, tv, movies, surf the web, etc. so dont act as if only xbox does something more than playing games.

      And, allthose things still doesnt change the fact that MS lineup these days is very scarce, so much that, If you don’t play RTS games (like you admitted) then theres no exclusive for you from MS the 1st half of this year. That precisely is the point! THAT IS EXACTLY IT! A console primary function is to play games, what differentiate consoles are the games available and right now x1 cant even see the dust left by the PS4. (maybe thats why you use xbox to watch TV instead of playing new exclusives).

  • jacksjus

    “There may be some games that we haven’t talked about yet.”

    What’s wrong with saying that there definitely are some games that we haven’t talked about yet?

    Phil is a pimp selling dreams. Lmao!

  • Riggybro

    “I think the proof will be in what we end up doing”

    Yes. As opposed to proof from what one doesn’t end up doing.

    Good to establish such thinking from the outset.


      Tha was as dumb as saying I have proof only for those who already believe in me.

    • Gamez Rule

      “The Proof Will Be In What We End Up Doing”

      Just hope MS don’t show games that we are not going to get again like they done at E3

    • Danny MacGurk

      Cuz th. oCunds like u

  • Exare

    I don’t think the people who are in positions like his actually play the games their companies make. When he says, “I’m having a great time with Halo Wars 2” it sounds fake to me, like it’s a plug for publicity for the game.

    • Player One

      You can check his profile?

    • EverybodyHatesDoug

      I did. He’s logged into PSN right now as we speak. He’s playing Horizon Zero Dawn. Go look for yourself. He hasn’t logged into Xbox Live since last Thursday.

    • Player One

      We’re talking about Halo wars 2
      and if he’s having fun time on another platforms that means he has lot of free time to play games

    • EverybodyHatesDoug

      Oh, because I thought it meant the other platforms had better games to play.

    • Edonus

      And that is why he shouldnt be out there giving props and praise to other companies games and products. It sends a message that he is having more fun with other consoles than his own.

      In reality he could just want to play all the games that come out because…. you know….. he likes videogames. But that not how it will be taken.

    • Riggybro

      It’s just a marketing trick. It’s an attempt to show that he rises above all business considerations, competition etc.. “it’s all about the fans, the games blah blah..”

      It’s like when politicians hide their own selfish partisan beliefs by saying they want want best for the whole country, be inclusive and argue with the other side etc…

      It’s a passive aggressive way of trying to win over potential customers by make yourself seem like the nice guy and the other side the aggressive underhand business.

      Oldest trick in the book.

    • Edonus

      I know what he is doing but in the current market it plays wrong and does more harm than good.

  • Mr Xrat

    They said the same thing when the Xbone was launched. Xgimps in for a reality check!

  • Russland Nachrichten

    this is whats hes telling every year


    Hes allways speaking bullshit! ….he should work for the trump administration.

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