Phil Spencer Talks Xbox Scarlett And More At E3

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E3 wraps up today, and as always, the event has brought a plethora of interviews and details about upcoming games and gadgets. The Xbox Scarlett was a major focus at the event, and the folks at Giant Bomb (sister site to GameSpot) were able to sit down with Xbox chief Phil Spencer for an interview, which streamed live on their YouTube channel.

Competition in the gaming business

Of course, Spencer wants the Xbox to win against all competitors, but he did say that E3 took a hit without Sony making an official appearance. He believes all console makers can be winners and even work together to make gaming a more high-profile activity. He doesn’t even see gaming as an area of competition to win, but rather, as an opportunity to make things consumers enjoy.

He believes the gaming industry in general would improve if the “friction” between the many companies participating in it were eliminated. For example, he believes Banjo’s addition to Smash Bros. Ultimate was a major win for the industry, as was Sony’s move to work with Microsoft on cloud-streaming technology.

Even though he wants the Xbox Scarlett to win the competition with Sony’s PlayStation, he doesn’t want to see Sony take a hit from it.

More on Xbox Scarlett

Spencer emphasized the importance of raw power for the Xbox Scarlett, although of course he can’t know how Microsoft’s next console will stack up against the PS5. The two consoles will probably be similar, as Sony and Microsoft have been doing virtual hand-to-hand comment in the industry for years. Because of the similarities, the competition may simply be a matter of brand loyalty and price. No matter what happens, Spencer said Microsoft wants the Xbox Scarlett to capture the top spot.

Neither Sony’s, nor Microsoft’s next-generation console is even close to being released, but that didn’t keep Phil Spencer from talking about what’s next. He said the Xbox Scarlett won’t be the company’s last console, although they have no idea what form factor the next generation will have. The Xbox chief also didn’t offer any sort of release timeline or schedule, adding that they don’t have any standard cadence for console launches. He said they think about what the next major step in gaming will be and then work on a console to target that view.

The Xbox Scarlett doesn’t even have an official name yet. In fact, he said they don’t even have a list of possible names. He also didn’t say what the price will be, although he did say they have a price range in mind. They haven’t made a final decision on the matter though.

Backward compatibility and Game Pass

We already know the Xbox Scarlett will be backward compatible with titles from previous consoles, and Phil Spencer estimates that it will support “thousands” of games from four generations of Xbox consoles. However, licensing deals may prevent backward compatibility for some titles.

He also talked about the Xbox Game Pass and predicts that the subscription service may encourage developers to specifically target the Xbox because it means they will be entering a catalog with millions of subscribers who might download their game.

Phil Spencer’s interview with Giant Bomb can be viewed in its entirety here (along with other interviews):

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