Andy Schuette has been gaming ever since he could hold a SNES controller in his hands and has been loving every minute of it. He's the funniest guy he knows, and the least funny guy everyone else knows.
In the heat of competition, companies are always looking to assure their investors and supporters that they are the best in the business, that success for them is inevitable. It’s not very often however that we hear the chief of a company tell the world that they are definitively losing in sales to a competitor. Oddly enough this is exactly the case for Head of Microsoft‘s Xbox Division, Phil Spencer, in a panel at the 2015 GeekWire Summit speaking about Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales numbers.
It’s not news at all that Microsoft and Sony have been directly competing for years over their respective gaming systems. This generation of consoles has shown the PlayStation 4 outselling the Xbox One by leaps and bounds, this deficit has not gone unnoticed by Xbox executives. During Spencer’s GeekWire Summit panel, he addressed the fact that PlayStation is winning in sales and added why he thought it was happening to them: Led in with the question of can Xbox beat Sony this generation Spencer said,
“You know, I don’t know. You know, the length of the generation, they have a huge lead and they have a good product… But I’ll say we’re not motivated by beating Sony, we’re motivated by gaining as many customers as we can.”
While he admits there is a large gap in sales, he also clarifies that for his team and himself, they would rather just bring in new players and satisfy the current players before worrying about having a higher number than Sony. An issue for people being brought on to the Xbox side of the console war is the information that is older that the console itself.
Spencer mentioned that during the time leading up to the release of the Xbox One, there was a lot of information going around that did not sit well with gamers. Two of the features mentioned in the panel was the “always on” necessity for the console as well as the lack of used game playability. But prior to the release of the console, Xbox had retracted such limitations. The issue remains though that a large number of gamers still believe that used games cannot be played on an Xbox One. This issue’s importance is shown by the sales numbers, whether or not it’s Spencer’s primary goal to catch Sony in statistics.
Spencer took to his Twitter account after the summit to answer questions and reassure fans of his team’s product with posts like “Team is 100% committed to making XB1 a great gaming console. Games, OS, XBL, that’s the focus,” and, “Our long term Xbox vision isn’t about competitors, it’s about gamers. We’ll stay focused there.”
Not a bad focus to have at all.