XBSX, or Xbox Series X, will not be looking to compete with Sony or Nintendo in hardware sales in 2020 and beyond. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has announced that the new console will instead look to secure its place as the most powerful console with the most options for entertainment.
During a chat with Gary Whitta during his late show on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Phil Spencer has reiterated that the core business at Xbox is about delivering quality entertainment, not selling more consoles. That’s good news for Xbox, who has always been playing catch-up in that area. The XBSX will have to fight and claw its way to sales relevance anyway, as the previous console generations have often struggled to gain sales numbers compared to the competition.
The Xbox One placed a distant third in sales numbers as we enter the final months of its main lifecycle. The PS4 hits at the #4 spot for the best-selling console of all time, at 110.4 million units. The Switch sits a bit further back, coming in at 62 million units just three years into its life. The Xbox 360, despite its high failure rate, landed around 86 million. For comparison, the Xbox One has likely only barely sold 50 million consoles after more than six years.
Circling back to Spencer, he made things very clear, saying that the goal for Xbox is about getting players playing and enjoying games, not just about making money. That’s the way some companies approached the problem of marketing consoles, but not Microsoft. “‘How many consoles do I sell versus how many consoles does another company sell,’” he pointed out. “Sony or Nintendo or other companies back in the day, that’s not our approach.”
“If [selling more consoles than Sony and Nintendo] was our approach, we wouldn’t put our games on PC,” he said, in fact. “We wouldn’t put our games on Xbox One, we wouldn’t do xCloud and allow people to play games on their phones,” Microsoft’s Executive Vice President at gaming added.
It will be very interesting to see how he manages to hold these statements over time. The recent delay of Halo Infinite could take a major launch title out of the lineup for the XBSX, which could spell major trouble for the launch numbers. If Microsoft gets off to a rocky start with their new console, will they shift gears?