The Verge interviews Phil Spencer - ‘The business isn’t how many consoles you sell’

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,251
The switch is the next gen console from Nintendo and will compete with PS5 and Xbox Whatever.
Hey, it's complicated, lol.

I blame Nintendo.

I have no problem saying it started 9th gen. I'm like those that depending on the narrative I change what it's called, what gen it belongs to.

Right now its 8th gen.

With the specs the PS5 and next gen Xbox will have, I think it may be safe to say it's competing with PS4 and XBO.
 

Lukas Taves

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,279
Brazil
I see zero reasons why not mention more affordaple console too already. I am willing to make avatar bet that we only get one console.
One reason I can think off is that insiders said the documentation and marketing material had performance deltas rather then raw specs. According to those Lockhart was aiming at 4X the S and Anaconda 2X the X

However Ms ignored those and said 4x the X.

This got me thinking that perhaps they were leaking false information to protect the real truth. I can also see a scenario where they just keep S and X, but IMO the strongest case for Lockhart is that it comes with a new and more efficient architecture so they could replace X with another console at the same ballpark but that’s more cost effective.

I don’t see X costing less than $350 next year, and Lockhart is rumored to launch at 300. I have no idea how they intend to reach that price with SSD, but if they did it would be a very interesting price point to be in
 

Lokimaster

Member
May 12, 2019
77
MS isn't battling Nintendo or Sony anymore, they are battling Google's Stadia. That's where the future of gaming is to be 'untied' to a console as much as possible. That's where all the money and opportunity is. Even Sony gets this and is using Azure for their services plan.
the better questions to this is, How can you beat Google, and you cant even beat smaller companies like Sony and Nintendo?

To be honest, google is the last thing anyone should be worried about, Stadia is not going to do anything. So that would even be easier.
 

Papacheeks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,132
Watertown, NY
Five years in tech is huge. We have games like Fortnite and PUBG on phones and in many different countries bringing in more money than the vast majority of $60 games. Google, Ubisoft, EA, and more trying subscriptions and streaming. Microsoft has more than tripled in value and has a market cap now of over 1 trillion. You can't just stick to your current path forever. Sony knows this all too well which is why they've changed stances on stuff like EA access, crossplay, etc. You have to adapt to grow. If Microsoft just focused on "beating" Sony in console sales they would eventually be losing to Google if streaming becomes the thing 5 years from now.
Who says im only talking about Console sales.
 

AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,182
The business isn’t how many consoles you sell. The business is how many players are playing the games that they buy, how they play
chicken and the egg. you need to sell consoles so you can sell your games. he seems to think people will keep playing the x1s and x1x and i think thats a very limited understanding of how consoles work. gamers are used to buying new consoles. they get it. every 6 years, they know to expect a big upgrade. people will move on and it's his job to sell them on the new console.

if he is talking about cross gen games for the next few years, thats even worse. Gamers expect next gen games from next gen consoles. And if Sony first party games give them that then why would they go buy the MS next gen console playing last gen games at higher resolutions?

That said, its shocking how few hardcore gamers on this board seem to understand that cross gen games are last gen games in disguise and that they would be handicapped by jaguar CPUs in the X1s, the HDDs and the old gen GPUs. So if hardcore gamers can be misled so easily, maybe casuals wont mind cross gen games until 2023 either.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,718
Gamepass, xcloud and games for gold are all derivatives(not literally) of ps plus and psnow. They haven't really carved their own lane they are following what sony created(onlive for the streaming bit).
as it is also fair to say that Sony did a good job creating those initiatives ....but let's be real, the biggest difference between Sony and Microsoft when it comes to this is the fact that Microsoft seems to be 100% in where as Sony always seem to be 45 to 50% in. So now that Microsoft is very serious about it it has Sony thinking about being very serious about it too.

I can give credit where credit is due, Microsoft knows their strength as a tech company and is willing to put their money where their mouth is in providing this alternative. that's admirable hands down. I particularly don't care to participate in any of that right now because, like I said, I'm still for the traditional route since I don't like wasting money on something that I know that I won't have the time to consume - so being able to pace myself by owning and buying games on sale works much better for me then a subscription service where things come in and out per month basis or however that works. At the same time, for whoever it works for, it's good to have - it's good to focus on, and it's good to move forward with in my opinion. All in all, this is carving their own way regardless of who came first
 

Crusadernm

Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,856
MS is offering so many choices the way you can purchase games and where you can buy. The keyword is choice. So many options and avenues where the end user can play their games. Beautiful thing to see.
 

Kilgore

Member
Feb 5, 2018
2,178
Hey, it's complicated, lol.

I blame Nintendo.

I have no problem saying it started 9th gen. I'm like those that depending on the narrative I change what it's called, what gen it belongs to.
If we talk about specs Nintendo is always a generation late and Wii Ü was their 7th generation console. If we're talking about companies being humilliated, that is an awful and consolewarish way to talk, I don't know if Wii Ü would chose to have been humilliated by PS4 and Xbox One or by PS3 and 360.

If we're going to talk about humilliations Nintendo and Microsoft are tied
 

Kuro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,795
I figured MS was probably projecting even less console sales for their next gen so focusing on game pass makes a lot of sense even if they're taking a big hit for the first couple years. Great time to be a PC gamer.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,349
The market is transitioning to cloud + content so of course in the current time, they are battling on all fronts and they have the means to do it. That's why we are still getting scarlett and whatever comes next after it.
When hardware becomes irrelevant they will have even more competition, because when game companies transform into the equivalent of movie studios, it will be all about the content.
Just look at Sony: they were too big too fail at one point and entered the movie business, but most of their movies sucked...shit happens.
 

Kiekura

Member
Mar 23, 2018
1,332
One reason I can think off is that insiders said the documentation and marketing material had performance deltas rather then raw specs. According to those Lockhart was aiming at 4X the S and Anaconda 2X the X

However Ms ignored those and said 4x the X.

This got me thinking that perhaps they were leaking false information to protect the real truth. I can also see a scenario where they just keep S and X, but IMO the strongest case for Lockhart is that it comes with a new and more efficient architecture so they could replace X with another console at the same ballpark but that’s more cost effective.

I don’t see X costing less than $350 next year, and Lockhart is rumored to launch at 300. I have no idea how they intend to reach that price with SSD, but if they did it would be a very interesting price point to be in
I think they are hitting casuals with Xcloud. Maybe they had initial plans for 2 skus if Sony launched 2019. They could have more powerful and more casuals specs, but now it looks like PS5 and Anaconda are same specs.
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,251
If we talk about specs Nintendo is always a generation late and Wii Ü was their 7th generation console. If we're talking about companies being humilliated, that is an awful and consolewarish way to talk, I don't know if Wii Ü would chose to have been humilliated by PS4 and Xbox One or by PS3 and 360.

If we're going to talk about humilliations Nintendo and Microsoft are tied
The 7th gen was PS360, Wii for home consoles.

The Wii U launched in 2012, a year before the PS4/XBO.

Are you saying the Wii U was a 7th gen console based on specs? Because I don't think that's why that works.

Nintendo just muddied the waters with the Switch.
 

Hockeymac18

Member
Nov 14, 2017
135
Erm thats the truth ?
Regardless of what you think of that statement - stuff like this would be more impactful if he said this when the Xbox was the best selling console. Ofc he is gonna downplay the importance of hardware sales when they cant compete on that level.

Not saying he is wrong or right....but come on.
In today's world, I don't agree that it's "the truth"
 

Kilgore

Member
Feb 5, 2018
2,178
The 7th gen was PS360, Wii for home consoles.

The Wii U launched in 2012, a year before the PS4/XBO.

Are you saying the Wii U was a 7th gen console based on specs? Because I don't think that's why that works.

Nintendo just muddied the waters with the Switch.
No, you said that specs were relevant to decide on what gen Switch is:

"With the specs the PS5 and next gen Xbox will have, I think it may be safe to say it's competing with PS4 and XBO."

For me Switch is the first of the nine generation, not the second console from nintendo for the 8th. Considering a company can have more than one console for gen doesn't make much sense and is not fair. Even with that logic, Nintendo needed 2 consoles to beat One (that is not a very succesful attemp from microsoft), I don't find that shaming for Microsoft.
 

gothmog

Member
Oct 28, 2017
215
NY
I see Phil's point about being more about if there's a customer for a certain price/performance point of a console. It seems similar to how Apple does it. Keep putting out new phones while keeping the experience about the same across generations. People will buy in when they want to, and buy whatever version they decide is worth their money. The technical details around keeping this vision in sync is very complex, and if you watched any of the Apple Developer Conference you can see just how crazy development can get across platforms and SKUs (SwiftUI and the iOS/iPadOS split).

I wonder how he plans to deal with older consoles from a diminishing returns perspective. At some point you have to cut off older machines in order to keep your ecosystem healthy.
 

Shoreu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
305
Because 6 months for a $1 is great, and $10 a month for access to hundreds of dollwrs worth of games is cheap too
I agree it's a great value but that $1 is an entry point not the norm is all I'm saying. Comments like "They are giving away games for $1" make me feel like people don't know that it's not forever or they are not being genuine.

This is no different than any other strategy to get people on your service.
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,251
No, you said that specs were relevant to decide on what gen Switch is:

"With the specs the PS5 and next gen Xbox will have, I think it may be safe to say it's competing with PS4 and XBO."

For me Switch is the first of the nine generation, not the second console from nintendo for the 8th. Considering a company can have more than one console for gen doesn't make much sense and is not fair. Even with that logic, Nintendo needed 2 consoles to beat One (that is not a very succesful attemp from microsoft), I don't find that shaming for Microsoft.
Right, that's about the Switch. And I said I have no problem calling it 9th gen.

Even tho it is and can clearly be called 8th gen. Blame Nintendo.

The Wii U? That's an 8th gen console. Full stop. That it bombed doesn't negate it's an 8th gen console.

If we start applying what I said backwards to previous gens...it gets really messy.

What's the Wii, 6th gen? Also technically inferior to the PS360.

So, are we comparing the XBO to a 7th gen console? Would Nintendo be happier with ppl looking at the Wii U as a 7th gen console, or an 8th gen console that just didn't sell? Then again...Nintendo would want ppl to call the Wii U 7th gen, lol.

If the Switch is 9th gen, it has one hell of a head start.
 
Last edited:

Knight613

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,885
San Francisco
This has kind of been his mindset since he took over to be honest. He wants customers that continually spend money and you don't really need to sell consoles for that. You just need to be everywhere that makes sense.
 

TheGhost

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,338
Long Island
I agree it's a great value but that $1 is an entry point not the norm is all I'm saying. Comments like "They are giving away games for $1" make me feel like people don't know that it's not forever or they are not being genuine.

This is no different than any other strategy to get people on your service.
It's no different than people saying "lots of 7 day free passes being used"

People still can't grasp that gamers not only enjoy but don't mind paying the regular price every month because it is that good a service.

Look at Black Desert online, it's up for pre-order on PS4, if you own both consoles you can get it with game pass and save money
 
Jun 22, 2018
950
Their approach to making sure you can play your game whenever and wherever and on whatever you want is very consumer friendly and I really appreciate that.

I'm sure they'd love to be doing PS4 numbers in console sales, but it's nice they can focus being successful in other ways rather than just throwing in the towel because Sony moved more units.
 

Shoreu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
305
It's no different than people saying "lots of 7 day free passes being used"

People still can't grasp that gamers not only enjoy but don't mind paying the regular price every month because it is that good a service.

Look at Black Desert online, it's up for pre-order on PS4, if you own both consoles you can get it with game pass and save money
I was never going to buy Black Desert, and now it's on my console waiting to be played because of a game pass sub that I share with my brother 🤷🏽‍♂️.

They were never getting money from me and now I'm gonna enjoy their game when I get more time thanks to game pass
 

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,725
I don’t get praising the genius of Microsoft here while ignoring Sony’s PSN digital sales revenue.

I don’t think these ideas are unrelated. There’s still something to be said about selling your box to people, especially with the rise in digital game sales.
 

Shoreu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
305
I don’t get praising the genius of Microsoft here while ignoring Sony’s PSN digital sales revenue.

I don’t think these ideas are unrelated. There’s still something to be said about selling your box to people, especially with the rise in digital game sales.
It's not just about sales anymore is the point they've attacked that concept with all of their moves over the past few years. They have litterally moved the goalposts
 

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,725
Its


It's not just about sales anymore is the point they've attacked that concept with all of their moves over the past few years. They have litterally moved the goalposts
Right. It’s about revenue.

I don’t know that the subscription model is better than ensuring your customers are inclined to use your service to buy games digitally.
 

Typhoon20

Member
Oct 28, 2017
585
You don't need to predict the future to know Sony will be fine sales wise....we have 4 console generations of data. Outside a huge market disruption that is.
Anything can happen. The Xbox can be nr 1, they were pretty close during the 360 era. They shot themselves in the foot this gen. You can't predict the future. As low as those chances are, the possibilities are there. It all boils down to delivering masterpieces of games. Ultimately that's why PS4 is dominating the Xbox One. They produce hit games after hit games while MS has failed so often.

A lot has to change for that to happen. Will it happen? Doubtful. Can it? Sure, if they make the right moves.

The reason why I dont think MS will dominate is because they dont have the same passion and love for their games. They want to milk franchises till its death instead of making sure the games are of certain quality. The problem isn't that they rely on Gears, Halo because Nintendo does that too with Zelda but Nintendo values their franchise so much they make sure it's nothing less than a masterpiece. Whereas MS just releases games even when their subpar. MS looks at it from a pure business standpoint first whereas Sony and Nintendo are about quality first and foremost. That's why I think MS will forever trail those 2. Unless they can reach that level of quality in their output. They invested a lot in studios but I don't think most of them will help them reach that level. They need bigger studios for that to happen. And the potentially good ones they have are unproven.
 

rokkerkory

Member
Jun 14, 2018
3,275
When hardware becomes irrelevant they will have even more competition, because when game companies transform into the equivalent of movie studios, it will be all about the content.
Just look at Sony: they were too big too fail at one point and entered the movie business, but most of their movies sucked...shit happens.
Yeah not everyone will be able to stand up the infrastructure to provide the right services. I can forsee the 'competition' use azure, AWS, google cloud, etc for their back end.
 

rokkerkory

Member
Jun 14, 2018
3,275
the better questions to this is, How can you beat Google, and you cant even beat smaller companies like Sony and Nintendo?

To be honest, google is the last thing anyone should be worried about, Stadia is not going to do anything. So that would even be easier.
Who is Sony using for their online services infrastructure? Who will Nintendo use (perhaps it could be azure, google etc)?

Stadia will have a head start on Nintendo and maybe even Sony. They will eat some market share. You cannot predict the future so who knows.
 

Shoreu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
305
Right. It’s about revenue.

I don’t know that the subscription model is better than ensuring your customers are inclined to use your service to buy games digitally.
According MS gamepass leads to more sales digitally. Sony has a huge base right now so It is expected of them to have more digital sales from my understanding. I don't think people see that as something to be praised, it's the norm and expected
 

Lokimaster

Member
May 12, 2019
77
Who is Sony using for their online services infrastructure? Who will Nintendo use (perhaps it could be azure, google etc)?

Stadia will have a head start on Nintendo and maybe even Sony. They will eat some market share. You cannot predict the future so who knows.
who they use doesn't matter. the cloud stuff is a whole separate division from xbox, that's not going to help xbox. we here are about gaming period
 
Dec 21, 2017
8,343
Myself and two of my friends subbed to the game pass this week. If Microsoft is trying to get people playing under their umbrella no matter where, they're hooking us.
 

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,725
According MS gamepass leads to more sales digitally. Sony has a huge base right now so It is expected of them to have more digital sales from my understanding. I don't think people see that as something to be praised, it's the norm and expected
Exactly. They have a huge base.

If they continue to make moves that make it likely they’ll keep that huge base, all while digital sales continue to increase relative to physical, their revenue is going to continue to increase.

Didn’t Sony’s PSN revenue eclipse the revenue of Microsoft and Nintendo’s entire game divisions just a year ago?