Phil Spencer: Microsoft is committed to growing first-party Xbox content and studios

Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox One clocked in at 1.31 TFLOPS while the PlayStation 4 came in at 1.84 TFLOPS. Microsoft was pumping out exclusives like Dead Rising 3 and Sunset Overdrive but they failed to make an impact, in part because many gamers preferred not to invest in the weaker console.

Since then it seems that Microsoft has cut back on exclusives — this year being the most startling example of this — in favor of providing gamers with what they call the best way to play third-party games. The Xbox One X features 6 TFLOPS of power and it's significantly more than the PlayStation 4 Pro which is at 4.2 TFLOPS. However, the lack of compelling exclusives is noticeable. While Nintendo and Sony have new experiences like Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey that have made waves in 2017, Microsoft can't say the same. Forza Motorsport 7 garnered great reviews but it's still the continuation of the yearly franchise.

Fable Legends: canceled.

Fable Legends: canceled.

The cancellation of games like Fable Legends and Scalebound has left a lot of Xbox One owners concerned about the future. Luckily, a few months ago Aaron Greenberg, Head of Xbox Games Marketing at Microsoft, said that the company had signed deals for many new exclusives. Since then we haven't heard about the team's plans. In a recent interview with GameSpot, Shannon Loftis, General Manager of Microsoft Studios Publishing, reiterated that. She said the following.

Scalebound: canceled.

Scalebound: canceled.

I think our offering is good and it is solid. I definitely hear that gamers want more. Would we love to have two-dozen more super-strong, absolutely exclusives? You bet. We do have more coming; more that are in the works that we're not talking about now.

Microsoft has learned from the Crackdown 3 and Scalebound debacles about announcing games too early. However, it would still be nice if the company provided a rough estimate on the number of games and their genres. Keeping their plans secret when many gamers are worried seems like it will hurt the company due to lingering uncertainty. Instead of buying a new Xbox One X, they might pick up a PlayStation 4 Pro because it offers a boost in visuals and has a lot of compelling titles coming in 2018 and beyond. It might not matter that the Xbox One X is the most powerful device on the market.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed that the company is looking at starting new studios and acquiring existing ones. He's aware of the problem and, while the solution might take time, they know they have to expand. Spencer added the following.

We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that. Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven't always invested at the same level.

Crackdown 3: delayed.

Crackdown 3: delayed.

However, while expanding first-party studios is necessary, making sure you lead the competition in terms of features is another step. Recently, Sony announced the ability for PlayStation owners to use their Trophies — the equivalent of Gamerscore on Sony's platforms — to purchase games. Players can earn credit towards game purchases depending on how many PlayStation Trophies they have. A similar program seems like a great extension for Microsoft Rewards or Xbox Quests.

In a separate statement on Twitter, Spencer said that the company would "give it a try." It's unclear if this means that they'll test it out internally or if it will make its way to Xbox Preview members.

It's great to see that Microsoft is aware of the problems with the platform, but they need to accelerate the process. It seems that their competitors are making tremendous strides in this department where Microsoft is just getting its foot off the ground. Hopefully, that will change soon and the company will satisfy fans at E3 2018. It's definitely seems like a daunting task though. Hopefully it's not an impossible one.

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.