Every 5-7 years something big happens: the big console war between Microsoft and Sony. We’re on the dawn of a new console war, or at least we thought we were, but that’s apparently not the case. In Phil Spencer’s same sit down with Animal Talking where he discussed why the PS5 is so big, he also explained that Microsoft isn’t in the business of competing in a console war this time around. In fact, one could argue that it’s the exact opposite, as Spencer says it’s about building an experience.
In short, the competition between the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will be fundamentally different compared to what we saw for the Xbox one and PS4 or the Xbox 360 and PS3.
“We want people to feel like they’re a member of Xbox. And that membership in Xbox isn’t about one device, it can be multiple devices. I want to have a great experience on the television and I think Xbox Series X is absolutely going to deliver that and I’m incredibly excited by the lineup of games that we’re building, but it is a fundamental difference than the traditional console war as people talk about. ‘How many consoles do I sell versus how many consoles does another company sell’ – Sony or Nintendo or other companies back in the day – we’re just not…that’s not our approach.”
This explains why Microsoft is so interested in Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud, the latter of which will soon be included as a part of your Game Pass Ultimate Subscription. Remember, you can also play a bunch of Microsoft games on PC via your Game Pass subscription as well, which is where Spencer is justified in saying that it’s about being a member of Xbox, not just a customer.
“If [the traditional console war] was our approach, we wouldn’t put our games on PC, we wouldn’t put our games on Xbox One, we wouldn’t do xCloud and allow people to play games on their phones. And I’m not disparaging someone else’s approach, but when I talk to fans and customers, what I say is when you’re a member of Xbox, we want to build the experience around you.”
So, the big takeaway here is that Microsoft isn’t really engaging in a console war. In the same Animal Talking video we’ve embedded below, Phil Spencer even admitted that he’s already upgraded to the Xbox Series X (must be nice) and that he likes the design of the PS5 and will, in fact, get his hands on one when it becomes available to. Say what you want, but you have to give Microsoft credit for taking a different route this time around. I suppose one could argue that the company already knows Sony has it beat, but we’ll leave that debate for an entirely different time.