Microsoft is learning from the mistakes it made with the Xbox One, and promises to take bold moves between now and the launch of the Xbox Series X.
Speaking to Gamertag Radio, head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed that he wasn't sold on revealing the Xbox Series X at The Game Awards, but that the risky decision is paving the way for "bold" decisions going forward.
Taking a risk with Xbox X series launch
Spencer admitted that he "wasn't the biggest fan" of the idea to reveal the next-gen console in a teaser trailer at the awards show, referring to someone on the marketing team as the brains behind the plan.
"She just stood up in the room and said, ‘We should go do something bold, something we’ve never done before. Let’s face it, we’re not in the market position we wanted to be in for this last generation. I don’t think we’re going to disrupt and grow our business by doing what we’ve always done. Let’s go try to do new things.’”
The reveal turned out to be a huge success. Gamers were appreciative of Xbox for taking a chance, and left wondering when Sony would do the same. But the plan would never have unfolded if Spencer, who thought "it could’ve been a disaster," had struck it down. Instead, gamers got just enough of a taste of the Series X to want more.
Xbox Series X: Focusing on being different
Spencer credited the successful unveiling to video assets but emphasized that doing something so drastically different gave him pause.
"It was cool to do it and I think the response has been great,” he said. “But to be completely honest with you, I could be sitting with you today and it could’ve been a disaster. You have to make those decisions and you make them without all the knowledge of how it’s going to play out.”
The reception of that bold move appears to have flipped a switch in Spencer, who says Xbox will be "trying to think about things in a different way" with "every decision" it makes between now and the Series X's launch.
"Some of them we’ll get right and some of them we won’t, but we’re definitely not going to be meek: we’re going to be bold in what we’re gonna try to do," Spencer added.
It's nice to see Microsoft recognizing past mistakes and promising to fix them. Let's hope these bold moves are also the right ones, and that Xbox puts up a good fight against the PS5 this holiday season.