The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences published an episode of its Game Maker’s Notebook Podcast, the podcast was hosted by Ted Price, founder of Insomniac Games and Xbox’s boss Phil Spencer. Both executives discussed about the future of gaming consoles, and how companies might help, or compete with each other.
Ted Price asked Spencer what are his plans for the next decade, he envisions that streaming-only console and playing on TVs is the future
“I think we’re going to end up with more differences underneath our TVs than we did before. I do think there’ll probably be a plethora of streaming-only consoles that don’t have a disk drive, don’t have a storage device, and everything is coming through, and then it’s how do I get the signal to the TV… maybe some of those are built-in…
… I what we’re going to find is as games are able to run in multiple contexts and on different devices, you’re going to see a lot of different devices grow up, supporting different scenarios.
Underneath my television… One of the things that have always bummed me out about consoles is that I usually have one TV in my house that my console is plugged into. This is very much a multiple TV bubble world that we live in where we have multiple TVs in our house, but the idea that I can’t just go to any TV in my house and sit down and play the games that I want to go play… We should have that ability.
The most interesting topic was to see his posture on hardware competition, and how could Xbox collaborate with some other console manufacturers ahead of heavier competition from Google and Amazon.
“I’ll say the conversations we’re having with whether it’s the other platform holders – which I know at times I make comments about who’s my competition and who is not – for me it’s really about people that today have large gaming audiences and customers, and I find my conversations with those other companies are usually more collaborative than “two may enter, one may leave” scenarios.
In that world, I’d love the industry to find a way to continue to evolve through both competition and cooperation. We should compete in the areas that help us both get better, and where the winner is the team that does the best job at putting the customer at the center and bringing the right experiences.
I love the brands that are in the industry today and the safety that players have with those brands. I think for us as an industry, it’s great when all of those brands can continue to grow.”
Phil Spencer has made Microsoft’s approach to the gaming industry very clear, consoles are the first step stone to reach the 2.8 billion gamers. Spencer has also suggested that the console market might not be as important to Microsoft as is streaming services, he also thinks that Nintendo and Sony don’t represent a threat to their ambitions.
Microsoft’s Game Stack chief James Gwertzman, has shared what Phil Spencer communicates to the team of executives at Xbox.
“It is schizophrenic. Phil says, over and over again, that we in the gaming division need to find a way to reach the 2.8 billion gamers in the world that we believe there are. That’s a number that you hear over and over again in internal meetings. 2.8 billions gamers in the world, and we need to reach them all.
We acknowledge that we will never reach more than 100 million of them by selling them an Xbox. The only way to reach the remaining 2.7 billion is something else, whether it’s xCloud or things like Playfab, where we’re not reaching them directly, but we’re providing technologies to help reach them. Or Azure, or something.”