Phil Spencer is going big for E3 2019, teases unannounced games and xCloud progress

Recently, Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer sat down with Director of Programming of Xbox Live Larry Hryb to discuss everything from Crackdown 3 to plans for E3 2019. The podcast launched on January 25, 2019, and has energized many Xbox One owners since then.

The first major piece of news Spencer dropped was that Playground Games and Rare are working on new projects. It's unclear what they are, but we'll probably have to wait until E3 2019 or E3 2020 to find out. Rumor has it that Playground is developing Fable 4, but as with any such alleged "leak," take it with a grain of salt until the media receives official confirmation. Spencer said, "I saw what Playground is working on next, I saw what Rare is working on next, and their continued success with Sea of Thieves."

That wasn't all though. Spencer discussed plans for E3 2019 and how Xbox was going big this year, especially since Sony isn't attending the event. Spencer said the following.

This is going to be a fun E3 for us... we had a discussion internally. Should we go big? Should we save some money? No, we're going to do our thing and we're going to go and be as big at E3 as we've ever been. And I love that opportunity to be with our fans and the industry... We're still going through some of the discussions on how much long-term and how much near-term [games] do we talk about... I'm a proponent for being as transparent as can be... I feel really good about our plans... The content that we'll have will be great and we'll talk about our future. We'll talk more about what the Xbox brand means to us... We have millions of Xbox customers... we see them on a phone or another device... We want to make that possible.

It's great to see that Xbox is going all-out for E3 2019. Hopefully the next-generation console will be revealed alongside a slew of amazing titles like the rumored Fable 4.

Spencer went on to discuss Project xCloud, Microsoft's game streaming platform which is in active development right now. Spencer said the following.

One thing I was doing on holiday was that I was playing games on xCloud... We want to make sure we get it as right as we can. We want to test it... to anyone else on the service, I'm just playing... It'll be years before this is the primary way people are playing... but let's think about our future... We should also have these five to ten year views on where things can go.

Hopefully Xbox Insiders will be able to get their hands on Project xCloud soon.

Given the sheer scope of Microsoft — it's one of the most valuable companies in the world with many divisions — many gamers question the higher-up's commitment to the gaming division. Spencer cleared the air by saying "Satya Nadella and Amy Hood are quite supportive... Satya looked at me on the last [meeting] and said, 'Man, we're really in on content.' He trusts the team... He calls Game Pass the Netflix for games."

There are thousands of people working for Xbox around the world at more, and that figure is growing and growing. This interview made it clear that Microsoft has an important long-term vision for how Xbox fits into the company as a whole. Hopefully this commitment will continue to get strong in the future with a lot of great exclusives. How do you feel about this interview? What stood out to you the most? Let us know.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Come on Microsoft, you can do it, bring Xbox BC to the PC on the Windows Store.
  • I suspect they might be but i suspect it would be more difficult with so many hardware configurations to consider...but, fingers crossed.
  • I don't think we will see this just because if the hardware side of pc's being so varied. I could see it coming to x cloud though.
  • But those BC games are HW optimized codes right?
    XPA that runs fine on console doesn't always run fine on PC right?
    And there's always someone who tries to be smart, tampering their system.
    I heard Steam VR breaks WMR Portal, so, there's chance user-installed-SW might cause system SW go unstable.
    HW from different makers, don't always work well with each other right? Lab with controlled factor != real life environment.
  • Yes and no. AFAIK the Windows Store uses UWP wrappers on PC for XPA, where as BC on XBox are VMs, OS+Game Image. There may be more stability in bringing xbox360 VMs to Windows.
  • Sounds good. Like the long term plans...but, i just want hands on with xCloud.
  • The only possible next-gen reveal at E3 will be game streaming related. XCloud will more than likely be going into public testing this year and scaling up that testing population even more by the end of the year or early next. With this happening I see no reason Microsoft would not have some big announcement related to streaming. Maybe even a live demo, much more then the video they showed last year. As for traditional console announcements I see no reason we will get anything other than maybe a tease. And that tease will be a lot less than we got a for the X. There is no reason to mention next-gen console, a device 17+ months out. We will get that same couple lines of they are working on providing the best gaming experience for the future at some point at the E3 presentation. Which good enough. X is selling better than exepected, the S is doing OK in markets that Xbox does well in. No reason to point out that another console is coming (most likely in 2020) and then have people put off buying devices today. Plus some information may give a heads up to the competition to react in areas that they can react to before they reveal their competing device (most likely a 2020 release as well). Of course if a PS5 is being released this year, which it is not or else Sony would be at E3, but, if it was then Microsoft could pull another big tease (like they did with X) if they know they have a better device or devices than Sony. Big IF. Just saying other than that unlikely scenario all we will really see is games. Which is what we truly want to see anyways.
  • If they are going the multi console model path with power variation between them I could see them tease with maybe 2 or three question marks on stage and then reveal the budget model... That way they keep the artillery secret, and can already put pressure on Sony.. But without Sony they have something to play...
  • They need to keep investing in studios to join Microsoft Studios. With Nintendo and Sony already in the game, and Google and Amazon trying to get in the door, exclusive content will be huge in the future. That's why Netflix is investing billions of dollars a year in original content. Microsoft needs to do the same. I know they added 7 new studios in 2018 but, honestly, they need to do that again this year too.
  • Nikkei had an interview with N's new CEO and shared some quotes, saying N's evaluating if their should continue their HW business. Ever since MS brought all these stuff from IT world into gaming world, things have changed.
    You used to sell consoles then discs or cartridges and you can be done with it. But now, you need money to maintain services, rent servers, cloud save, managing user account and purchases, hack proof, etc. If you want to do BC or FC, extra time & costs to do the designing, planning and maintaining. And... I know what it's like working in Nintendo Japan so... these typpa things are not their strong point.
  • I never understood how people always said MS has one foot out the door when it comes to their console.
    Nintendo could just as easily be in the same position and go the route of Sega and just develop software/games.
  • i was one of the first beta tester of xbox live back in 2002 with my own name as my gamertag. at first it was a little rough, but it was an awesome experience. played mechassault to death. now im ready to test xcloud and move into the future. im done with discs, im ready to leave digital download. i want my games streamed.
  • I'm really looking forward to Xcloud too, but not because of wanting to get rid of downloads. I want to play games on the go and not have to bring a big gaming beast of a laptop with me! Not to mention having to pay at least $1000 for a good experience while doing so. With data caps from ISPs, digital downloads with local only storage is essential for the near future.
  • I'm very interested in Xcloud, I want to test the technology. Playing on any device could be amazing. But I mostly want to finally be able to play Xbox games on PC. To me that's the true revolution. And I hope that it will be what finally makes the barriers between Xbox and Windows gaming fall.
  • I with ya! I had the og xbox when XBL first came out. I got an email after 6 or nine months stating I had to change my GT. Of course I was like WTF? Anyways they gave me a free year of XBL and 3 free games. I've been down since the get down!!!!!!! LMAO!
  • Props to Microsoft for doing a complete 180 on the xbox since launch. Cant wait to see what they bring at e3 with next gen consoles and the new projects their newly aquired studios are making. My only gripe with the big M is dont say you are going to do something multiple times then in future say we ain't going through with it anymore. Talking about vr for xbox one x. I preordered it for that reason. Really aggravated quite a few consumers with that BS.
  • Are you saying it's a good thing that M$ has essentially abandoned the Xbone completely since launch? I don't know why you would be happy about that.
  • @ClanPsi. How have they abandoned the Xbox one?
  • @Hilltoppot. No, they said they wanted a untethered VR experience and right now that's not possible with current VR headsets as none use anything like Miracast due to the latency issues. Otherwise it would be an extremely nauseating experience and almost all VR setups require additional sensors to create barriers in game. Otherwise you will be bumping into walls and worst case scenario falling over a furniture thus causing injuries.
  • once VR is cordless and not a huge headset it will be more viable.
    VR should be like goggles or sunglasses size with earbuds. also go opaque for vr and then go clear to see the real world without having to take them off.
    then it will be worthwhile
  • I think they were 8 years to early with the whole always connected xbox! To me it feels like that's exactly what we have today, always connected. But I'm sure not everyone feels that way.
  • *yawn*
    Sounds like yet another waste of 90 minutes. I wish M$ would either do something worthwhile in the industry, or just leave altogether.
  • Actually, compared to Sony they are doing something worthwhile. Name one console from Sony that allows you to play games spanning three generations. No, the ps3 with emotion engine doesn't count (as that was abandoned and hardly ran well) nor does PlayStation now as it's subscription based for select games. Whereas I can buy a pre-owned Xbox 360 game disk, put it into a Xbox one x and play it - as long it's on the backwards compatibility list. The best example is red dead redemption which got the full 4k treatment on the one x. I bought the Xbox 360 disc for £1 and I can play it on my Xbox one or in 4k on the one x. Does Sony allow you to do that?
  • I will name a console, PlayStation 4. You can play PS2, PS3 and PS4 games on the console. Oh wait, sorry, you specifically chose to exclude things based upon arbitrary criteria you created, biased much?
  • Much easier you leave.
  • I hope that they acquire Turtle Rock studios. I know that they probably don't have the rights to Left 4 Dead,but they could make a game and call it something like NOT DEAD YET. Instant buy for me
  • Whew, can't wait to hear about the next Crackdown delay!!!!
  • Nadella and Hood are 'quite' supportive. What a ringing endorsement lol.