Microsoft dreams of PC/console utopia
Under the rule of Xbox division leader, Phil Spencer, Microsoft aims to take the once lowly Xbox branch into its fold. While Xbox has had an arms-length relationship with the main company branch, Spencer has been leading the charge in assimilating the Xbox and PC experience.
“[M]y ability to sit at the Windows leadership table and have a discussion about gaming at Microsoft and not just about gaming on one piece of hardware, it has an impact."
Spencer has been persistent in pointing out Microsoft’s recent changes to focus on gaming as a whole rather than separating console from PC. In a conversation with Polygon, he noted that Microsoft recently acquired the hit PC game Minecraft, which was quickly ported to console. The upcoming Halo Wars 2 has also been announced for both PC and Xbox. In fact, Spencer speaks very little of the Xbox on its own, except to explain its relationship to Windows.
“I think when we look back on Xbox five years from now or so, I think Windows itself will be a critical component to the success I think we can realize of Xbox itself — and gaming will be a critical component of the success of Windows.”
In addition, Microsoft has been touting their cross-platform peripherals. Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri, is available on Android, iOS, and Windows. Kinect, the bestselling motion sensor device, has been called the “all-in-one games and entertainment system.”
“I've said a couple of times when we go do the customer research, our happiest customers are Kinect owners. Giving them the option to choose to be our happiest customers through the bundle that they buy or when they buy the Kinect is a better outcome.”
Under Spencer, the rhetoric has shifted from “this is the future of the Xbox” to “yeah, you can take it or leave it. But leaving it means you won’t have as much joy in your life. Your call.”
Thanks, Microsoft, for acknowledging the consumer’s choice to be happy. Perhaps the gap between “PC master race” and “console peasants” can be joined at last… as long as they swear fealty to Microsoft, of course.