Phil Spencer: Microsoft Should Have Been ‘Direct And Honest’ About Xbox One

There’s no beating around the bush, Xbox One had a terrible reveal.  Rather than focus on games, Microsoft focused on the TV and entertainment capabilities of the console back at the May 2013 reveal.  Not only did this frustrate gamers, but literally drove them insane when it was revealed that the console manufacturer would be implementing always-online and DRM policies into the new console.  The confusion and Microsoft’s inability to convey the policy in a positive light led to fan anger, and multiple jabs from Sony.

Microsoft reversed the policy, but the damage looks to have been permanent with the Xbox One trailing the PS4 worldwide and in North America.  GameTrailer’s Geoff Keighley held a special talk with Phil Spencer at South by Southwest in Austin, TX.  The talk was captured by YouTube user gerrenlaquint where Keighley asked Phil about the whole Xbox One controversy.

“I look at last summer and that wasn’t a high point for me, coming out of the announcement of Xbox One and E3, where I thought our messaging around what we believed in was confused –– mainly by us,” Spencer said.

“I learned a ton last summer as a leader of our groups and in our company about being true to your core vision around what a product is, not being confusing, and frankly, when you’re going to say something to a consumer that might put them off, it’s better to just be direct and honest, rather than trying to sugar-coat something that might be controversial.

“I’d rather deal with the controversy of what we’re doing, and have an above-table conversation about that topic, rather than trying to sugar-coat it with some other news,” Spencer said. “One of the reasons I wanted to be a little more active socially was because I knew the core of why we were in this industry was not an evil reason… It was to really delight consumers and build a great product that millions and millions of people would love.”

You can check out the full interview below: