Phil Spencer admits Xbox One pre-launch was a “cold dose of reality”

Phil Spencer admits Xbox One pre-launch was a “cold dose of reality”


Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox One debacle back in the day, noting that the company had a “cold dose of reality” due to negative response from fans.

In an interview with IGN, Phil Spencer admitted that the launch period for the Xbox One could have worked better. Due to some PR decisions made pre-launch, the brand got pushed out of their supposed lead. It gave Playstation the generation from the start.

Xbox One launch was “a challenging year”

During the pre-launch period for the PS4 and Xbox One, Xbox had the lead going in. Xbox 360 led the previous generation, with the PS3 becoming a subpar choice. The company had everything going well and, by all standards, should win the next generation.

Even then, a few bad decisions pre-launch alienated a good chunk of the audience. Eventually, what did them in was E3 2013, where Sony gave them a punch to the chin.

“It was such a seminal moment for the team and really checking what we stand for, what we want to be as we went forward, how we want to bet on each other,” notes Phil in the interview.

“It was a challenging year, there was a lot for us to learn […] the things that I see in the team now that are so true are listening to the community, challenging ourselves, not staying in the bubble that we’re in […] so much of what we are today is really from that first launch year of Xbox One that we got a cold dose of reality.”

Xbox “features” created a set of problems for itself

Phil Spencer notes that the launch year itself was a “challenging year” for the brand. At the time, their problem came from some of the so-called “features” were taken badly.

When the Xbox One launched in 2013, the actual console did not contain many of the issues it had pre-launch. For starters, Microsoft initially wanted to add an always-online functionality to the console.

They also planned to allow only first-use for games, making it difficult to borrow or use second-hand titles. Sony capitalized on this, creating what’s basically the winning moment for the PS4.

Fans eschewed Xbox for this launch, and the results were obvious. Playstation 4 led throughout its entire cycle, winning ahead by millions of units against the Xbox. Even after, Xbox tried to push the Kinect to players, driving the game’s prices up.

Phil Spencer offers more insight into the business, revealing a few more crucial details for the brand.

Featured image courtesy of Xbox/Youtube Screenshot


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