Xbox's Phil Spencer Seemingly Suggests Project Scarlett Will Focus on RPGs

When it comes to the next round of consoles, Xbox boss Phil Spencer wants to do things a bit differently. Spencer has previously acknowledged the early failures of Xbox One, including the system’s high price point and its underpowered nature when compared to Sony’s PS4, indicating the next system would rectify these mistakes. With this console generation coming to a close within the next year or so, new comments from Spencer seemingly indicate another area he'd like to see improve: more RPGs.

In an interview with Xbox On, Spencer discussed some of Microsoft’s role-playing successes, and the need for more from the company.

"When I think Mass Effect 1, which I worked on, Jade Empire, Fable — I remember we had really staked out RPGs as something that was important.” Spencer went on to highlight a pair of more recent RPGs from the company saying “it's nice with The Outer Worlds coming out, Wasteland — I think RPG is an area we purposely focused on and wanted to do more."

While Spencer never specifically mentions Project Scarlett, his comments certainly seem in-line with his previous statements regarding Microsoft’s next console. Spencer certainly knows that things will have to be different from the Xbox One launch if they hope to compete with Sony. RPGs have been a staple of Sony systems since the original PlayStation, and they tend to do well in Japan where Microsoft has struggled the most.

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Microsoft seems to have their eye on Sony’s share of the market, but they also seem to view Nintendo as a potential ally. During this console generation, Microsoft has worked closely with Nintendo in a handful of ways, from releasing Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch, to allowing Banjo and Kazooie to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Microsoft even released advertisements alongside Nintendo to promote cross-play between Minecraft on Xbox and Switch. Of course, that strategy may have also been a way to score a PR win against Sony at a time when the company was receiving negative press for preventing developers from allowing cross-play between PS4 and other consoles. Sony eventually relented, allowing cross-play between certain games, but the ad campaign remained a surreal moment for many gamers.

The next Xbox system is expected to release in late 2020. Are you excited for Project Scarlett? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!