The Head of Xbox knows that some people are heading for a tough time.
A new generation of consoles is coming up on us quick this holiday season. While some people are as excited as ever, this go around does feel distinctly different. The situation around the world is well… let’s just saying it’s just not very damn good right now. Between political unrest in usually stable countries, the global outbreak of COVID-19 completely changing many parts of our society, to what looks to be a pretty significant global recession looming… I mean, yeah. And it seems as if someone who understands that is Phil Spencer.
In an interview with BBC, Spencer acknowledged that some people are probably going to be entering some hard times. He acknowledges that for some, this may not be the best time to buy high priced electronics like the new Xbox Series X or even the Xbox One. Despite the fact that Microsoft is going into a new console launch, he says it’s okay if people decide now isn’t the time and points to ongoing services, such as All Access, Game Pass, and Backward Compatibility, as alternatives.
“It looks like we’re moving into a period of of massive economic uncertainty. The thing I’m probably focused on the most is the macro-economic environment. We see the impact of people getting furloughed and layoffs. It’s tough. And we are a leisure activity. We’re not a requirement. We’re not food. We’re not shelter. So we want to be really tuned in to that as we launch. How can we make it as affordable as possible? How can we give buyers choice?
“We’ve got an Xbox All Access subscription programme that allows people to buy their next console by paying a monthly charge. And if now is not the time for you to buy a new console, and you’re going to stay with the console you have, we’re going to keep supporting that console.
“But our strategy is centred around the player, not the device. If this is not the year when a family wants to make a decision to buy a new Xbox, that’s OK. Our strategy does not revolve around how many Xboxes I sell this year.
“We’re focused on delivering services through Xbox Game Pass, which allows people to build their library for a monthly fee. Backward compatibility means that the console that they have will play thousands and thousands of games. Smart delivery means when they move to the next generation, the games will move with them.”
Despite all the things happening in the world, the Xbox Series X and PS5 are both slated to release this holiday season. As of now, we still don’t know the exact dates or prices of either system.