I’m sure you remember when we covered Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox brand, saying he wants to compete next-gen? Well, it looks like his partner Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, isn’t looking to compete or go head-to-head with Sony when the Xbox Series X drops around the same time as the PS5.
Late 2019, Spencer noted that he wanted more RPGs on the Xbox family of consoles and that he wanted to compete next-gen with the Xbox Series X as per videogameschronicle.com:
“We had the discussion years ago ‘do we want to go do another generation?’ Yes, and do we think there will be multiple generations ahead of us? I actually think there probably is. So we’re going all in. We’re all-in on Project Scarlett [Xbox Series X] and I want to compete, and I want to compete in the right ways which is why we’re focused on cross-play and backward compatibility.”
Contrary to that, it looks like Booty isn’t jumping on the next-gen ship to battle or compete with rivals like Sony. Instead, the head of Xbox Game Studios believes that the company can explore other avenues that don’t include going head-to-head with the blue brand.
“First of all, Sony’s done a fantastic job just across the board in terms of what they’ve done with building an audience, selling consoles, obviously, a number of amazing, great games that have come out of their first party teams. I try to stay away from framing things as a head-to-head bout with Sony, instead I think that it’s just up to us to focus on three things. First of all, we need to deliver on the promises that we make. So if we say a game is going to ship at a certain time, we’ve got to get that done, we just need to get better at executing
We need to make sure that we hold the bar high on quality, and that we’re releasing games that we can be proud of and that the fans can be proud of as Xbox exclusives.
And then lastly, we need to continue building characters, stories and worlds that can transcend generations, devices and platforms. You know, if you look into things like the Marvel characters or Lord of the Rings, when those Marvel characters were first invented in the 1960s, nobody knew that there was going to be a thing called Netflix
But yet, here we are. And, you know, the Marvel library figures heavily into video streaming. And so I think we are lucky to have worlds and universes like Halo, where there’s characters that can support TV series, books, comic books and all kinds of games.”
Booty believes the Xbox Team needs to focus on building “characters, stories, and worlds that can transcend generations, devices, and platforms,” while producing “quality games.”
I do wonder how this “initiative” will pan out given that Spencer wants to compete with other brands while using cross-play and backward compatibility as a selling point, while Booty wants to step away from going head-to-head with Sony by focusing on quality and characters/worlds that can transcend from video games to movies.
Well, we’ll find out how the Xbox Series X performs after Q4 2020 rolls around and if the team will compete against Sony and the PS5 or rely on “quality games and movies” to stay afloat.