Phil Spencer: Xbox is driven by player numbers, not console sales

Xbox's Phil Spencer reiterates that player numbers, engagement, subscriptions and services are more important than hardware sales.

1 minute & 39 seconds read time

Microsoft cares most about software sales, services, and engagement. These metrics are the life's blood of Xbox...not console sales.

Phil Spencer: Xbox is driven by player numbers, not console sales 34

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Phil Spencer re-confirms something we've known for some time: Hardware purchases are in the back seat of Microsoft's big picture. Right now Xbox is a service, not a console--a service that bridges consoles, PCs, and mobile phones with a galaxy of games, subscriptions, and cross-platform social features. Thanks to the Xbox One's bad rep in 2013, Microsoft has diversified far beyond consoles to become a service titan. It's done very well for them.d

Spencer re-affirms this position in the interview, and says Microsoft won't give actual Xbox console sales figures ever again. The spotlight is now focused on player count, engagement, and revenues from subscriptions and services like Game Pass instead of hardware sales.

"I know it seems manipulative and I'll apologize for that, but I don't want my team's focus on sales," Spencer said.

"The primary outcome of all the work that we do is how many players we see, and how often they play. That is what drives Xbox."

"If I start to highlight something else, both publicly and internally, it changes our focus. Things that lack backwards compatibility become less interesting. Putting our games on PC becomes a reason that somebody doesn't have to go and buy an Xbox Series X. I'll hold fast to this."

"We publicly disclose player numbers. That's the thing I want us to be driven by, not how many individual pieces of plastic did we sell."

Phil Spencer: Xbox is driven by player numbers, not console sales 10

Microsoft just announced the Xbox Series X/S were the biggest console launch in Xbox history.

Nestled in that PR post was mention of how 70% of all console buyers were also subscribed to Game Pass. This is what Microsoft cares about most. Consoles are just a portal, a gateway to digital sales and monetization, and that's another big reason why hardware sales won't be divulged again.

Buy at Amazon

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 6/5/2023 at 8:54 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles