The PS4 clobbered the Xbox One this generation from a sales perspective, and most of that comes down to the reveal of the two consoles. Sony hit a homerun with the unveiling and messaging of the PS4 before launch. Microsoft fumbled and stumbled at every opportunity. And it never fully recovered. That said, speaking of the the notoriously horrible reveal, current Xbox boss Phil Spencer admits the company, well, messed up.
For those that don't remember: Microsoft positioned the Xbox One as a multimedia living room console more than a gaming console, dedicating a lot of time and messaging to its TV aspects. And this was just the tip of the iceberg, but according to Spencer, this mistake was salient. Not only did the company read the room wrong, but it caused confusion for both consumers and employees who felt like they now didn't know the direction of the Xbox brand. In fact, it even caused some internal backlash.
“The feedback we got from the employees, maybe said and unsaid, was, ‘We’ve been working really hard for two years to ship this product,” said Spencer, while speaking to our sister site GameSpot. “You stand on stage at this event and blow up all the good work that we’ve done by talking about the product in a way that’s not really matching what the soul of an Xbox console is about and what our customers are looking for from us."
“I think the team just gets disappointed because they feel let down by the leadership team and I’d say that’s the feeling I heard the most from the team. I had people come up emotional, like they’re reading the forums and people are accusing us of being dishonest with them or having bad intent with why we were building the product that we were, and if you’re a member of the team, you don’t necessarily see across everything that’s going on.”
Of course, Spencer wasn't in charge of Xbox at the time of the reveal, but he was a member of its leadership team. That said, it's good to hear him admit where the company got things wrong, if not simply because it should mean they won't repeat the same mistakes with the Xbox Scarlett.