Phil Spencer and Microsoft have a clear vision for the future of the video game industry, and it's quite a bit different from the one envisioned by Sony. In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the Xbox boss discussed the major difference between the two companies heading into the next console generation. While the PlayStation brand seems to be focusing solely ahead, the Xbox brand is still very much entrenched in the present, with plans to continue supporting the Xbox One in addition to the Xbox Series X thanks to cross-gen support. It's a radical approach to a new console generation, but Spencer seems to view it as something that will benefit the video game community as a whole.
"Gaming is about entertainment and community and diversion and learning new stories and new perspectives, and I find it completely counter to what gaming is about to say that part of that is to lock people away from being able to experience those games. Or to force someone to buy my device on the day that I want them to go buy it, in order to partake in what gaming is about," Spencer said to GamesIndustry.biz.
It will be interesting to see how this approach works out. On one hand, those that can't buy a new console within the first year often see their software options dry up quickly. On the other hand, however, Microsoft can only expect developers to continue supporting outdated hardware for so long. While this could lead to a larger potential audience for a game, as more gamers eventually do upgrade their consoles, Microsoft's model could become unsustainable. With the company reportedly encouraging publishers to avoid charging for next-gen upgrades, it's hard to imagine how long Microsoft can expect developers to support the Xbox One and Xbox Series X at the same time.
As far as the next generation of consoles goes, it's clear that Spencer and Microsoft are focused on expanding the Xbox audience and rewarding those that have stuck with the brand. From cross-gen support to backwards compatibility, it's clear that Microsoft has a much different goal moving forward than Sony does. It's impossible to say whether or not it will work out in the long run, but it's certainly an ambitious goal.
What do you think of Microsoft's approach to cross-gen support? Do you think it will be a sustainable model? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!