XBOX Boss all magnanimous, or is there more?

Source: E3 2017: Xbox Boss Reiterates That Console Wars Aren’t Productive – GameSpot

I do not believe what I’m reading here! The first reaction to the article and the feelings of Phil Spencer is that he just “won” E3 with Xbox One X and now he is trying to be all cordial about it and generous in spirit, as well as to seem embracing and calming to the wider gamer base.

But is that so? Is he just the best man ever to lead a big corporation project or is he just a very smart man? I’m always cynical and suspicious because if I do believe in one thing, it’s that corporations and their leaders will always do what is most financially beneficial to them and can get away with it!

This is the most basic rule of business and the sooner we all realise it the better we will be! Xbox is not a charity and a service to the gamers! It is a product and the ones selling it will always have their interests first, and if in the course of serving these interests, the games get something cool too, then GREAT! After all, this is a competition, a competitive market and to compete you have to have something better to compete with! That is how the consumer is served!

So let’s see what he said:

[…] online fighting between fans is unproductive and […] the industry isn’t a zero-sum game.Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox

These are just PR slogans. Every company wants their consumers to be passionate about their products, and fanatic followers of their brand, or product, are main drivers of hype and a constant source of free publicity. But social norms compel us not to agree with this, so as a good company we have to say that extremes are not welcomed in a way that doesn’t completely alienate them. He doesn’t call these extreme fanatics out though, he just calls the fighting unproductive! We do not want to alienate these fanatics after all. They are good for us! And saying that fighting is unproductive is as unproductive to solving the online issue of console war fighting as saying it is!

[I view] the industry as more healthy when people don’t take sides, and [I believe] that a stronger industry in general–including Sony–is better for MicrosoftPhil Spencer, Head of Xbox

Again, saying not much. This is just the mantra of the capitalists everywhere; competition in the market is healthy. There is nothing more in this statement than this! I’m not commenting here on the virtue of capitalism. All I’m saying is that Microsoft operates under the capitalistic paradigm (because of course, it does!!!) and this statement is nothing more than expressing the capitalistic ideal. There is nothing else here!

We don’t have to see another company fail for us to succeed. It’s not part of the math for running a business.Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox

Except it does! Anyone who has ever studied economics knows that capitalism has the inherent process of weeding out “bad” businesses by the sheer pressure of competition, rewarding the well managed and bold movers and punishing the slow or badly governed. So what is it exactly that he is saying here? “We do not have to see another company fail” but we are going to because the system cannot function otherwise. There is only a set amount of consumers buying the products and a set amount of monies to buy the products with. Companies will compete for these resources and eventually companies who deal in this market will close (either wholly or in their activities in the market). So no, Microsoft doesn’t have to see someone fail, in the same way I do not have to see another person fail at an interview we both try for. I do not have to see him fail, but they will, or I will, or we both get positions, but someone else will not and they will fail, but we did not have to see him fail.

And then an outright lie about it not being in the math! Business is about market share, and if Microsoft could get all the share for itself, it would. Only maybe it cannot because of monopoly, so there are laws guarding against it, and why are there laws against it? Because businesses have been trying to get the entire pie with unfair market schemes. Where possible, the math will always be about that!

Five years ago, when I was here, it was all, ‘the death of consoles, everybody’s going to play on their iPads, why don’t you guys go home? Those were the questions. And now… Sony’s doing really well, we’re doing really well, the Switch has come out of the gate incredibly strong. So that feels good.

I see a vibrancy in games that are here across all platforms. I watched [the] Sony [press conference] yesterday, I thought Spider-Man looked great… It’s a great time to be in this industry, and for people to try to make this industry about fighting with each other, opposed to growing the industry itself, I just don’t think is a long-term view on an activity I love, which is playing games.”Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox

Again, more PR! Because we forget! So, Sony is doing well and Nintendo has the Switch? Great! So a three player game is all well and good? Where is Sega? Where is nVidia (talking about the console market here!)? Where is Tiger? Growth? There are THREE of you left!!! You just released the most powerful console to draw people away from the other consoles, you broker exclusivity deals to keep games away from other consoles and you speak of growth?! You are not fighting with words or weapons or inflammatory internet posts, but your business practices are not about growth for the industry, only for Microsoft!

By the way, when you have to sell your product at lower than cost, because you hope and plan and have historical data that suggest you can make your money by selling games and micro-transactions and subscription services (also read this about how everything turns to subscriptions, because this is where the money currently are) I call the whole console war staged! Packing this much power in Xbox One X and selling it for $500 is not representative of its value. You are using the same technique as someone who wants to hook you on to something and then sell you more stuff.

And then you get yourself in a situation that your product, your baby, is not allowed to run at full speed ahead and you blame others for limiting you!

I’m gonna struggle to not get myself in trouble on this one. I’ll just say: I don’t know anything about other development deals. You mentioned some things around clauses and stuff that I don’t know anything about. But if anybody was to do a deal to hold back technical innovation on a video game anywhere else, that doesn’t feel good for the industry to me.Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox

This because Bungee limits Destiny 2 to 30FPS on both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X while PCs get to run Destiny 2 at 60FPS. He would love it if Destiny 2 was left free on Xbox One X, but because of existing deals, it is not possible! The same deals that everyone makes to make their platform competitive and thus profitable and thus less profitable for the others and thus hurting them but we do not have to see them fail. Spiderman is awesome!

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