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Xbox 360 exec touts exclusive lineup as best in class

by Bill Hess on July 5, 2012


Phil Spencer is understandably biased when it comes to talking to the press about the Xbox 360 and games published by Microsoft Studios. He is the Vice President after all, and in a recent interview Spencer shed some light on Microsoft’s strategy for the Xbox 360 when it comes to first party exclusive games. In a recent interview with Games Industry International, Spencer touts the Xbox 360’s lineup as the best in class. Putting it up against Sony, Spencer says that “our top 4 (franchises) outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises.”

“Our top 4 outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises or something like that.”“We have always been about trying to create hits that really push our platform and reach millions of people. I’ve never looked at our first-party mandate as trying to simply pump out content that only a few select people will go out and buy. If you look at our top franchises in our first-party, they do incredibly well relative to other first-party franchises. If you rank our top four franchises against the other franchises, our top 4 outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises or something like that. In the end, it’s about creating something to scale and something that matters.”

Microsoft and the Xbox 360 have seen some criticism over the last few years as first party exclusive titles have begun to dry up. Considerable resources have been thrown towards the Kinect, and many of the first party titles have been geared towards the motion controller. Spencer doesn’t believe that Microsoft should be competing with the big third party developers, nor do they have to.

“I also look at the great third party support that we have and I don’t need to go compete with Batman or Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed that shows up on our platform. It’s great that we got Warner Bros, EA, Activision and Ubisoft making a lot of money on our platform and bringing great content. So we take our first-party and we try to do unique things. We focused early on Kinect with quite a few things because we knew that third-parties might have taken a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude. They actually didn’t. There were more third-parties on stage this year with a lot of Kinect content this year.”

As for the future, things are starting to shift immensely in Redmond. Microsoft is getting ready to launch Windows 8, and as promised, its got a greater focus on games and apps than previous versions of the Windows operating system has in the past.

“If I’m an owner of an Xbox, it is an amazing time.”“First-party is going to invest early in a lot of things. We actually have over 30 launch games on the Windows 8 tablets coming from first-party. Now we’re starting to build on SmartGlass, and that thinking with a lot of connections between different screens, I think will pay off. I’ve never really looked at first-party as simply a portfolio filler strategy. I want to pick some things that will really differentiate, whether it is working with ESPN and Nike to create something new, or Sesame Street or making a great Halo game which we are right in the middle of being born. It’s showing very well right now.”

When its eventually time for Microsoft to show its next generation hardware, its safe to assume that they’ll be throwing their resources behind the console once again, if they aren’t already. No word on when the next console will arrive. From Spencer’s recent statements it doesn’t sound like Microsoft is any rush at all.

“If I’m an owner of an Xbox, it is an amazing time. I’ve got Halo, Call of Duty, TV showing up, Nike, Sesame Street, and I mean the platform has reached a scale now that you see a diversity of content that you really do have something for everyone on the box. You have video consumption outpacing online gameplay now, but both are growing. The Xbox is just on more hours in the home. From a value perspective, I think people feel great about the investment they’ve made in the Xbox. We’ve introduced the Live plan and the $99 Xbox which is going well.

So when we say people are interested in the next, there is a sub-set of people that are always wondering what is next and even the next, next. That’s great enthusiasm, but we don’t want to turn it into the world is somehow waiting. We see that the 360 is in the number one position, we have a ton of engagement, games are selling really well, Live subscriptions are going well and it’s an opportunity for content creators to ship content into a huge installed base that are actively engaged. That’s a great opportunity.”

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  • Frank

    True, true. Can’t argue facts! So does he like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga too? I mean, they sell more albums than everyone out there, so it’s only fitting. Pretty sure PS3’s and Wiis exclusives are higher critically acclaimed, so fail.

    • AKA Zzz

      What do you have against those artists? You sound extremely jealous. He’s stating facts.

  • IHATEHIPSTERS

    Cant wait for splinter cell suck it allen! Quality over quantity!

  • Frank

    LMAO Didn’t even realize he said video consumption outpacing actual people playing! If your console has Skyrim, Halo, Gears, and CoD being outpaced by people on Netflix, you have no right to speak, even though those games are great.

  • Frank

    @Ihatehipsters
    Oh, you mean the new splinter cell that’s gonna be on PS3 too? Yeah, I can’t wait for that either!

  • Frank

    I have nothing against those artists. I’m just saying, just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s better. Which is backed up by him contradicting itself. 360’s exclusives are an in the moment type of thing. They’re wicked popular for a short period of time, but once another game comes out, everyone flocks to it. They don’t have staying power. So how does that make them better? On average, ps3 exclusives are rated higher. They sell good numbers, not great and I blame the over abundance. Whereas m$ deprives their owners of games, Sony overwhelms us. Niether situation is good.

  • bigjershby

    i just got back in town and just watched e3 all i know is if i worked for microsoft they would have to pay me alot of money to go on stage and showoff multiplat games like they do i mean it would hurt me if after pushing a game on stage a ps3 and wii logo popped up!!!

    guitar hero outsold rock band guitar hero though it was the shat cuz it sold more we all know how that ended just saying

  • Cool dude

    I got nothing to say here. Im out. Byeeee

  • Frank

    Love how people thumbed down my sales=quality comment! Same people that would thumb me up If i used CoD as an example. LOOOOOOL

    • IHATEHIPSTERS

      Its like saying do you want 4 crappy 15″ inch lcd displays or one awesome 50″ inch plasma. Quality over quantity. You wouldnt understand.

  • abc

    uncharted >>>>> gears of war

    forza >>>>>>>>>>>> gran turismo

    halo >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> killzone and resistance

    fable = crap

    little big planet, infamous, god of war, socom.

    ps3 gives me options to choose. it doesnt leave me stuck with 4 exclusive games.

    • IHATEHIPSTERS

      Gears of war rapes uncharted with a chainsaw

  • y2jarmyofficial

    people buy games like gaers of war and halo more or way more in halos case then any ps3 exclusive,to be honest i do have a ps3,ut its only used for blue ray and exclusive,i buy all my multiplatforms on a 360,most of the times the 360 one is the way to go,i prefer to pay to play and im not the only one who thinks so,lets say call of duty mw3,which plaform it sold better on?the 360 one,but wait you have to pay,so i guese people do prefer to play on 360s live then free on ps3,wonder what will happen if sony started to charge for playing,well they will lose big time

  • njb

    obviously 4 exclusives r goin to sell more than 11 exclusives.

    simple maths.

    Halo is the only game that has a long life because of the hardcore fans.

    even my blind ignorant 360 friends r not looking foward to halo 4. I am shocked.

    And dont use quality over quanitity to troll

    funny how he uses 3rd party games in the interview when the topic is about 1st party. then he talks bout apps and netflix. its like he is trying to big up and advertise for MS.

  • Frank

    @Hipsters
    That’s a terrible example. If we’re talking about video games, which we are, more is better. Would you rather play Halo for a year till gears comes out, or play Gran Turismo 5 till Killzone 3 released, Killzone 3 till infamous released, infamous till Resistance 3, and then R3 until uncharted 3? I choose the latter. Ps3 has a way larger variety of games, you simply can’t deny that. And according to metacritic on average, they’re better than 360’s, which is bad considering the huge gap between exclusives. And honestly, if I still was a 360 only gamer, I’d be pissed at ms for e3. They’re pushing that garbage Kinect way too much. Where were the exclusives? Nearly every game at their booth is headed to ps3! You bought an Xbox to play games, not to watch espn/HBO all that useless crap, that for some reason everyone gobbles up. I mean, If they were balanced between games/features favoring games, then it’d be okay. But there isn’t. And sadly, by the time you 360 fanboys do, you’re looking at 1 core exclusive, a shitbton of things you dont want, and a bunch of Kinect titles.

  • Frank

    Does it hipster? How many GotY awards has any gears won? None, son.

  • bigjershby

    ive played and bet all 3 gears and uncharteds on hard mode and any1 that thinks gears is better is a fanboy r in hipsters case has never played them both lol funny

  • Cool dude

    Get the console/s that has games you want to play with.. geez.

    Is that so hard?

    I could wrap up a whole list of exclusive games but I chose not to because I dont play them anyway. Dont brag about games you dont play.

    Im gonna go play minecraft.

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