Speaking at the GeekWire 2015 summit, Xbox boss Phil Spencer admitted that he wasn’t sure about how the console wars would shake out this generation. “I don’t know,” Spencer said when asked bluntly if Xbox could beat PlayStation. “They have a huge lead and a great product.”Well, that sort of honesty was … unexpected.
Spencer continued dropping truth bombs from there. He told an auditorium of attendees that comments made by other higher-ups in the Xbox and Microsoft chain of command near launch had a negative impact on the development team (though he didn’t specify to whom he was referring). “I sit back and I think about an organization of thousands of people– you’re down in the organization and some words and some actions from executives kind of just trash all of the work you’ve done over the last three years, many weekends and nights, and you start to question ‘Why am I doing this?'”
Spencer claimed that since taking his role as head of Xbox, he’s focused on regaining the team’s trust and motivating them to enjoy what they do, pointing to backwards compatibility as one example of what the team can accomplish. And while features like backwards compatibility may help the Xbox One sell more than the PlayStation 4, Spencer said that’s not his ultimate goal. “We’re not motivated by beating Sony, we’re motivated by gaining as many customers as we can.”
“I have to earn every customer,” Spencer said. “My biggest competitor is apathy.”