As the corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer’s job is to help make Microsoft’s in-house projects the most killer-app software available for any platform. As such, he pays close attention to his competition to stay ahead of the curve. While that role could stir bitterness, Spencer had only good things to say about Sony and Nintendo in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine.
Speaking about Nintendo, Spencer called its first-party software “an amazing asset” that “can lead what they do as a company and the platforms are almost in service to the IP — not in a bad way.” Unlike Nintendo, Microsoft is only just starting to gain nostalgic opportunities with its Xbox franchises, one of which is the Xbox One’s revival of Killer Instinct. “Obviously the history of Killer Instinct isn’t a history on Xbox, but it’s Rare’s history, and I think the reaction when we announced it on-stage at E3 showed that playing to the people’s heart, I think Nintendo does that as well as anybody in terms of hitting the franchises and having huge success with them.”
As for Sony, Spencer added, “I really respect their focus on investing in new things and creative things, what they’ve done with David Cage and Quantic Dream around Beyond [Two Souls] and Heavy Rain; they stay committed to franchises even if they don’t sell 10 million units, they’ll stay committed to things. I think that long-term commitment to franchises is important, where it’s easy to pull off the Band-Aid and move onto the next thing [if it doesn't sell]. I respect their ‘stick-to-it-iveness.’ I’ll say, they’ve done a nice job with PS4.”
Amidst fanboy wars and press conference potshots, it’s nice to see some positive, professional energy come from a public face at Microsoft.