‘Competition is healthy for everybody.’
Microsoft has made a miraculous recovery with the Xbox One, the console that was launching as the antithesis of everything gamers wanted from a new console, to a highly gamer friendly and focused device, with user friendly features, great games, and a company that dynamically responds to fan feedback.
The culmination of this effort is the New Xbox One Experience, which launched yesterday, and does away with the misguided, media centric Xbox One UI that the system launched with, that has since been patched and patched to be more user friendly and games friendly. Speaking on the eve of the launch of the NXE, Microsoft’s Mike Nichols discussed the update, as well as the general future of the Xbox One, in an interview with Gamespot.
“It’s arguably the most significant release we’ve ever made to a console–and that anybody’s ever made to a console,” he said.
Does the New Xbox Experience mark the end of the kind of monthly updates that Xbox One fans have come to expect for their consoles? Not necessarily, Nichols said.
“The answer is there no set schedule for major user experience changes. We only really want to introduce a lot of changes when we have incredibly high confidence that the upside from the change is really going to deliver fantastic results for people. Because once somebody gets used to something, it can be disorienting to have a change. So we really want to be thoughtful about when we do that sort of thing. And we feel really good about the layout that we are introducing with the new UI and hopefully that layout continues to remain and still intuitive and well-designed that we won’t have to make a lot of changes.
“We’ll just add more features and tweak things as opposed to a more fundamental re-think. If we find, over time, that there is a better way to navigate information then we will go ahead and try to do that on whatever time frame we find and is necessary. We feel so good about this experience that we want to see how people react to it. There’s no set frequency; we’ll do it when we feel like we can make a big improvement to the experience for people.”
Nichols also discussed the state of the competition, and where he sees Xbox in the larger industry ecosystem.
“I definitely think it’s going to be a big holiday for Xbox fans. Our primary focus is on our own pace. Our primary focus has and has been and remains on really delivering great products for consumers. We do feel fantastic about the lineup we’re delivering. We have chosen really to focus on delivering new value and when you put together the exclusives, backwards compatibility, and all the great third-party games coming, and the new experience innovations that we’re introducing…we put all of that stuff together with [bundles]. We really feel good about the value we’re delivering per dollar spent.
“And certainly we feel it is probably the strongest value message we’ve had of value per dollar spent. I feel like it compares very favorably with other alternatives in the market. But ultimately, customers are going to decide. And that’s one of the really great things about our industry–is that competition is healthy for everybody. It’s resulting in some terrific gaming systems and terrific games and hopefully a lot more fun for customers; ultimately, that’s what we’re all in this thing for.”
Personally, I agree with him, and I also appreciate Microsoft’s immense effort in turning the Xbox One ship around. It has left us with a great system and some great games as well.