Arkane Austin’s Redfall has received quite a tepid response since launch, but Xbox’s reaction to the same has also been interesting. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has spoken on the Kinda Funny Xcast about not providing development assistance to Arkane (something which the company is fixing with Starfield).
Of course, even with some great games in the works, Spencer doesn’t believe it’s enough to turn things around. “We’re not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo. There isn’t a great solution or win for us, and I know that will upset a ton of people, but it’s just the truth of the matter that when you’re third place in the console marketplace and the top two players are as strong as they are, and have in certain cases a very, very discrete focus on doing deals and other things that make being Xbox hard for us as a team. That’s on us, not on anybody else.
“Our vision is that everybody who’s on console has to feel like they have a great experience and they’re a first-class citizen. They’ve invested a ton in our platform, but we are not in a position, and I see it out there… I see commentary that if you just build great games, everything would turn around. It’s just not true that if we go off and build great games, then all of a sudden, you’re going to see console share shift in some dramatic way.”
However, much of that also involves the previous generation, where Spencer believes players “built their digital library of games.” “We lost the worst generation to lose in the Xbox One generation, where everybody built their digital library of games. So when you go, and you’re building on Xbox, we want our Xbox community to feel awesome.
“But this idea that if we just focused more on great games on our console that somehow we’re going to win the console race, I think, doesn’t lay to the reality of most people. Like 90 percent of the people every year who walk into a retailer to buy a console are already a member of one of the three ecosystems, and their digital library is there.”
Not even something like Starfield, Bethesda Game Studios’ next big IP and its first new one in over 25 years, would trigger and cause people to “start selling their PS5s.”
“I see a lot of pundits out there that kind of want to go back to the time when we all had cartridges and discs, and every new generation was a clean slate, and you could switch the whole console share. That’s just not the world that we are in today. There is no world where Starfield is an 11 out of 10, and people start selling their PS5. That’s not going to happen.”
Starfield is out on September 6th for Xbox Series X/S and PC while also launching for Game Pass on day one. “Tons of new gameplay” is promised at the Starfield Direct on June 11th, but for now, Microsoft is concerned with enhancing the overall Xbox experience. Perhaps we’ll see that manifest in new announcements at the Xbox Games Showcase, also on June 11th. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.
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