While Sony and Nintendo have released their own dedicated portable devices, Microsoft never has. Spencer said people have already decided on a mobile platform for gaming-that being an iOS or Android smartphone. As such, Spencer an Xbox-branded mobile platform is «not a focus right now,» though he mentioned that Microsoft’s R&D teams are always «incubating ideas» about new platforms.
Microsoft has already confirmed that it’s making multiple new Xbox consoles. While specifics are unconfirmed at this stage, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has now spoken up to discuss Microsoft’s wider commitment to making new consoles and why he wants more interconnectivity between devices.
Spencer told LevelUp that he is «very excited» about Microsoft’s plans for new consoles, going on to stress that consoles are not going away anytime soon, despite what some have predicted.
«The reason I love the consoles that we build is because I think we can build very special consoles,» Spencer explained. «I see it today with Xbox One X and how games run on the Xbox One X; I think it’s a fantastic place to play. When I look at our future plans, I am very excited about what we are going to do in the console space.»
Spencer added that player choice is incredibly important for Microsoft going forward. He referenced how games like Minecraft (which Microsoft owns and operates), as well as PUBG and Fortnite work across a number of devices; Microsoft wants more of its games to support that as well, Spencer said.
«I try to think about a player’s choice,» Spencer said. Where do they want to play their games? They should be able to play their games where they want to go play. They should stay connected to their friends, wherever they’re playing from. Their library of games, as much as possible, should be with them wherever they go.»
«The thing I’ve always thought was a miss was we have so much content that’s locked to an individual device,» he added. «If I play a console on a television, I play these games. If I play on PC I play those games. I play on a phone I play those games. Some of that’s great; because some of those games are purpose-built for that scenario. There are great stories and characters that should.. I think gaming brings people together. And I think the content that I love and the stories; I’d love to see it come to every device.»
Also in the interview, Spencer addressed the future for game-streaming, which is a relevant and important subject given Microsoft just recently announced that you’ll be able to play Halo on a smartphone through its new Project xCloud service. Spencer was adamant that streaming is not going to take over and be the only way to play games. Instead, Project xCloud, or whatever name Microsoft gives the service, will merely be an option.
It won’t be for «years and years» until streaming takes off, and it will be «way further out» if streaming ever becomes the best way to play games, «if it ever is,» Spencer said.
«It’s about choice, not replacing what you do,» Spencer said, adding that diversity in gaming business models is healthy for the industry all up.
At E3 this year, Spencer said he hopes the next Xbox can offer higher frame rates, while he also hopes the team can deliver a box that launches games faster. Additionally, Spencer noted that the balance between CPU and GPU on console currently is «out of whack» compared to PC, so that’s something he would also like to address with the next console.
On the subject of streaming, Fallout and Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda thinks it’s going to be a big deal and already has its studios preparing for it. What’s more, Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead parent company Take-Two believes streaming is coming, while Electronic Arts has 1,000 people working on an ambitious new technology that involves streaming.
Microsoft isn’t the only company working on new hardware. Sony has already basically confirmed it’s making a PlayStation 5, while a revision of the Nintendo Switch is reportedly coming in 2019.
What would you like to see from the next wave of consoles? Let us know in the comments below!