“Players are at the center” as Phil Spencer defends no next-gen exclusives

Third party developers, however, are free to support any consoles that they wish.

The Xbox Series X is less than a year away. Still, Microsoft has already had to defend its strategy with console exclusives, with Phil Spencer stating that it’s a case of putting the player at the center of the attention and not the console.

Matt Booty, head of Microsoft Game Studios, recently stated that the intention for the Xbox One and upcoming Series X was to release new titles simultaneously on both console (with PC releases), where the Series X would offer a higher level of technical polish. The idea would be that this would last for at least a year after the console’s release.

This lead to critics saying that a lack of exclusives could dampen the appeal of upgrading. However, in an interview with Gamertag Radio Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, stated that it was the intention not to silo players to a single platform for new releases.

“Obviously we built our strategy with Series X, we started with that in mind – we wanted to go build a gaming console that was going to be the absolute best that we could deliver on a television, and deliver unique capability to creators that they could use to go create the best games.

“But you don’t want to do that to the exclusion of everybody else and you also want to do that hand-in-hand with developers because developers want to find the widest audience possible. And yes, there are always trade-offs.”

via Gamertag Radio

He did, however, confirm that whether third-party developer wishes to do the same is down to them. “I’m not gonna dictate to every third-party studio what they have to support, but what we see in today’s world is that gamers want to go and play games with their friends regardless of what device those friends are on, people want to have the largest selection of games open to them, and developers want to make use of the best technology that’s available.”

How much of an impact that this will have on the console battle in the next generation is unknown. Still, considering that the last two generations between the two resulted in the console with the lowest launch price coming out on top, the idea of exclusives at launch may have a lower impact than predicted, at least to begin with.