In a new interview, Microsoft's current Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that, back when Don Mattrick was in charge of the division, the original goal of the team was to sell 200 million units of the Xbox One console.
"The goal that the team had was to figure out how could we sell 200 million game consoles," he said. "We've never seen a console sell that many units. The biggest individual console, the PS2, did 120 million or something like that. The approach the team took was people are moving to OTT Video Services [over-the-top, like Netflix and Stan] and television's getting disrupted — and if we could build a console that could be at the center of this transition and really embrace not only people playing video games, but also people with the changing habits in television, you really take the console market and the gaming market and you expand it potentially."
Obviously, that plan did not work out, and a launch price of $499 with the included Kinect camera didn't help either. However, Spencer said that Mattrick's plan wasn't necessarily a bad one:
"I look at all of those and from a pure business standpoint and goals, they're all completely sound ideas. It's not like somebody was out with evil thoughts or something. It's a rational approach."
In the end, Mattrick departed Microsoft several months before the Xbox One launched in the U.S. in November 2013. Spencer was named as the head of the division in 2014 and quickly turned the Xbox One's business plan around to center on games:
"We needed to make sure other features that we're building are really embracing the games and gamers that are out there in the game development community and that our console is for them first," he continued. "I'll say when we look at what people do on the console today, video usage is as high as game usage, so it's not like people aren't watching YouTube and aren't watching Netflix and Amazon and anything else that's there, but I still think that we have to succeed with gamers first before we get any permission to go do anything else."