Phil Spencer Says Starfield Won’t Be So Good That People Sell Their PS5s

Phil Spencer Says Starfield Won’t Be So Good That People Sell Their PS5s

Phil Spencer had some harsh truths to share on a recent episode of the Kinda Funny Games podcast, noting that Xbox lost the worst generation of the console war and that there’s no amount of good games that will help it defeat Sony or Nintendo.

“We’re not in the business of out-consoling Sony, or out-consoling Nintendo. There isn’t really a great solution or win for us, and I know that will upset a ton of people, but it’s just the truth of the matter,” Spencer admitted when asked if he believed Xbox has lost focus on the console war by offering more games on PC.

Related: Redfall’s Procedural Vampire Nests Should Have Been The Whole Game

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It’s rare for any head of any company to so openly admit failure, but Spencer said that Xbox outright lost “the worst generation to lose” in the Xbox One/PS4 era. That’s when “everybody built their digital library of games,” and that library has locked most gamers into either Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo.

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“Most people, like 90 percent of the people every year who walk into a retailer to buy a console are already a member of one of the three ecosystems. Their digital library is there,” Spencer explained. “This is the first generation where the big games that they’re playing were games that were available last-gen (when you think about Fortnite and Roblox and Minecraft).

“I see a lot of pundits out there that kinda wanna go back to the time when we all had cartridges and discs and every new generation was a clean slate, and you could switch the whole console share. That’s just not the world that we are in today. There is no world where Starfield’s an 11 out of 10 and people start selling their PS5s. That’s not gonna happen.”

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But not all hope is lost. Spencer added that Xbox can find a path to victory by doing its “own thing” with Game Pass, X-Cloud, and how it builds games toward backward compatibility and crossplay. By making Xbox a more player and consumer-friendly environment, Xbox hopes to slowly erode market share from Sony and Nintendo.

redfall characters walking towards the camera
via Arkane

But he admitted as well that games like Redfall go against that strategy by eroding the confidence players have in the Xbox community. “I’m disappointed, I’m upset with myself,” he said earlier in the Podcast. “This is one where the team didn’t hit their own internal goals when it launched.”

Redfall launched to mostly negative reviews over a slew of damning performance, technical, and gameplay issues ranging from brain-dead enemy AI to chimneys that floated over houses. Spencer said he expects Redfall to receive ongoing support in the same way as Sea of Thieves and Grounded, hopefully resulting in a finished product.

Next: Arkane’s First-Class Level Design Is Redfall’s Undoing

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