Cleaning up after someone else’s mess is never a fun, or good thing. That’s exactly what happened when Phil Spencer took over for Don Mattrick as the Head of Xbox. Microsoft’s console had a lot of fixing to do in terms of public opinion and Spencer and the team there showed this E3 that they’ve finally done it. Which brings me to my point; Phil Spencer should be applauded for the changes at Xbox.
When the Xbox One launched, there was a lot of things about the messaging from it that many gamers just did not like. There was a focus on TV and sports, but not much mention of the people who adopt the console early on, the hardcore gaming crowd.
Since the Xbox 360 did so well in the past generation, the Xbox team and Don Mattrick were surprisingly arrogant during interviews and conferences when talking and showing off the Xbox One and its features. One would think that because they enjoyed such a success the previous generation, they thought they could do no wrong and target a broader audience out of the gates.
Finally, the initial mission statement of the Xbox One changed, Don Mattrick was gone from Xbox, and Phil Spencer stepped in as the Head of Xbox. In my eyes, this marked a pivotal moment in Xbox’s history.
Since Phil has stepped into the job at Xbox, the culture around them doesn’t seem the same. Although Phil is in fact a higher up there, he feels like he actually plays the product and isn’t just given a briefing on what’s going on before he speaks.
When I hear Phil Spencer in an interview, or on a podcast I’m always surprised at how in tune he is with Xbox’s future. I believe that being a gamer, and one that is invested in Xbox’s well being, makes him the right kind of person to be the leader of Microsoft’s console division.
This E3 really sold me on Spencer and the Xbox team. They have successfully turned that ship around and while some may say it’s just Xbox doing damage control, I see it as more than that. I see this as Xbox finally understanding their consumer and what the core Xbox fan wants from Microsoft.
They have a certain confidence, but not a cockiness. It’s a confidence that they’re trying their best to bring what their consumer really wants to the table and they believe that they’ve done it.
I always want all three of the Big 3 to be as successful as possible. I always say that competition breeds excellence and that is so very true in the video game market. Sony’s huge lead spurred MS to give it all they’ve got and although I don’t own any Xbox products, I’m very optimistically waiting to see what the future holds for them.
Yes I understand that Phi Spencer’s job is to make Xbox succeed, but I do believe that after the train wreck that was the Xbox One’s launch, that he deserves this sort of acknowledgement. He and the team there have cleaned up most of Xbox’s image and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you Xbox One owners out there.