Xbox 360 and Xbox One fans received certain pleasant assurances at Microsoft boss Phil Spencer’s SXSW presentation this weekend.
Spencer’s presentation hasn’t been widely reported, but one small snippet did escape thanks to Twitter user Todd Lutz.
“Phil Spencer says new Microsoft leadership “extremely committed” to Xbox going forward,” Lutz wrote.
Spencer’s comment addresses a couple of recent concerns – persistent rumours that Microsoft has been considering selling off its Xbox business at the behest of shareholders, and the recent appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella, with the traditional accompanying leadership shuffle.
It’s at least the second time Spencer has confirmed the Xbox business isn’t going anywhere; hush your worries.
In a Q&A following his presentation as reported by Polygon, Spencer acknowledged complaints that Microsoft’s Games with Gold program tends to offer older games – whereas Sony’s PlayStation Plus delivers new releases on a regular basis.
“One of our issues with Games with Gold – not ‘issues’ but differences between the other system we get compared to – is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe,” he said.
“And the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a — you’re gonna go buy a game that’s brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it.”
That said, Spencer said although he isn’t directly involved with the Games with Gold program he’s been working with those who are to try and make it more appealing.
“I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team – some of the earlier months were already programmed – and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you’ll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there,” he said.
“For us, in the long run, as an industry, giving away content like that is just … I think there’s some steps and some evolution of what Games with Gold or any of the other systems will go through to their full potential. You have things out there that are kind of bigger subscription services, where I get access to a lot of content. Games with Gold is kind of this step in the middle of, ‘I get games, and how do I feel about those games.’”