What's Phil Spencer hiding? The future of Xbox based on Phil's latest shelf teases

Phil Spencer Shelf
Phil Spencer Shelf (Image credit: Microsoft )

The Xbox shelf conversations are running rampant again! A new image from a video conference at Microsoft's AI and Gaming Research Summit has many speculating that Phil Spencer is potentially teasing multiple big Xbox announcements. From Kojima Productions to From Software, we dive down the rabbit-hole and share our thoughts on what these teases could potentially mean for the future of Xbox, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Studios.

Why do people care what's on Phil's shelves?

Previously, Spencer and the team at Xbox have hidden many key items on shelves during interviews and video chats. Spencer even managed to cleverly hide the Xbox Series S console on a bookshelf before it was officially revealed. There also the interview with Spencer, Major Nelson, and Todd Howard where Howard proudly displayed a relic from the Indiana Jones franchise before the announcement of the upcoming Indiana Jones game. If that wasn't enough, Xbox even snuck the new Xbox Wireless Headset in the Power Your Dreams launch trailer starring Daniel Kaluuya. Because of these constant teases, the recent speculation is more intense than ever.

The topics covered in our video

Todd Howard Indiana Jones

Source: Twitter/@LeonHurley (Image credit: Source: Twitter/@LeonHurley)
  • Kojima Productions collaborating with Xbox?
    • We discuss what the Ludens mascot displayed on Phil's shelf could mean for a partnership between Kojima and Xbox.
  • Ubisoft-focused Xbox announcements?
    • We breakdown what the Watch Dogs: Legion collector's edition statue could mean for future Ubisoft-related Xbox announcements.
  • Xbox working with Nintendo?
    • We speculate on the possibilities of Nintendo and Xbox working together in a few possible ways.
  • From Software Xbox exclusive?
    • We share our thoughts on whether or not From Software is in talks to develop an Xbox exclusive.

Share your thoughts!

What are your thoughts on the Phil Spencer shelf situation? What do you think this all means? Is there actually any signifance to these items? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.

25 Comments
  • Probably stacks of cash that MS isn't paying (developers/publishers) for games being pirated straight from the Microsoft Store glitch. LOL I have no idea why dev/pubs keep messing with this company. Microsoft was told 6 months ago and has done nothing to fix it. Free games for everyone? (Oprah voice) Haha.
  • This is the first I've heard of this, so you have a source?
  • Youtube... search for The Spiffing Brit, its so simple even a 10 year old can do it. Supposed he informed Microsoft 6 months ago. People in the comments are saying they have been doing this on Xbox hardware for quite sometime (although there is no video of that and I am slightly confused as to how that can be done on Xbox hardware). Basically, you create one Game Pass account pay $1, and everyone in the world can use that account to install the game on PC. The account can than be deleted... and another user on the PC that isn't even sign-in can play the game. Its basically a sale of the game without a sale going to the publisher/developer. I wouldn't even call it an exploit, they are simply giving away other people's games without paying the publisher/developer. LOL
  • That is pretty funny. But MS can probably measure how much this is happening. I doubt this is a big deal for them.
  • I don't see how Microsoft can measure how much this is happening, meaning the games are installed with a real account. No, its not a big deal to them (Microsoft), as they are pirating other companies software at this point. Its third party devs/pubs that should care as Microsoft is giving away their software without paying them. Why wouldn't everyone that has Game Pass do this? Meaning, you get to keep the games and you don't really have to pay for them.... not really. For the record, I have no idea how this would be possible on Xbox hardware, there are so comments from people that it might be possible on Xbox hardware. Technically (not realistically), it could be possible to install the games from Game Pass on a billion PCs, pay $0-1 and play those games forever.... in turn, Microsoft is most probably not paying the devs/pubs for what amounts to sales of the game. Hahaha I wouldn't even call this a exploit, I mean the user really doesn't have to do anything special even.... free games.
  • This is kind of showing that you don't understand what is really happening here. The game is installed on the computer, it was done so legitimately. That's not piracy. It's also not taking money from developers. Microsoft pays them to have games on game pass. You're upset over nothing.
  • Oh you're the idiot that parades around this website like you know something, when clearly most of what you write is nonsense. If you watch the video or actually read what I wrote you would understand. The games are played by non-Game Pass accounts which are not logged in, and the games don't expire. As the video states, for literally $1 the games can be installed on as many computers as is desired. Once the games are installed, the other accounts can use the games forever in its current state. I'm not sure why you think I am upset, projecting? The devs/pubs should be upset as these are sales (but the get no money) and no the are not getting money from GamePass as the GamePass account is then no longer used. Idiot. The irony of you claiming someone doesn't understand... when the whole video and what I wrote went right over your stupid head. The dev/pub doesn't get money from the GamePass as the GamePass account isn't used, they don't get money from a sale from Microsoft Store because it was never bought. There isn't anything complex about this. - the games don't seem to expire i.e. sale
    - the games can be played with a non-gamepass or even logged in account thereby how would the dev/pub get paid via gamepass? The license for a rental is permanent on the machine, and the account can be used over and over. So, unlimited (in theory) installation of software which doesn't expire i.e. sale but no money. I am assuming what he is saying is correct, the last thing I would want is more Microsoft **** either way. What they are describing isn't game sharing... the games stay on the system without the GamePass account, and appear to be forever. (I don't know that as fact but only take his and others comments as fact for discussion)
  • I did watch the whole video. The whole thing is based off of a legitimate account installing the software. Meaning first someone has to pay for gamepass, then install the software. Now if you're going around giving people your account information so they can do this often, you're an idiot. If you're giving random people access to your machine, you're an idiot. If you think Microsoft isn't paying developers to have games on gamepass, you're an idiot. If you think spiffing brit is a legitimate news source, you're an idiot. If you thinks developers aren't aware of this, you're an idiot.
  • Yeah the account doesn't have to be on same PC but it has to be active and have the other account that use the game added to there family on their MS account profile... I have done that for my MS office licence for ages... It's not a work around it's a feature of MS business model has been for more than half a decade.... There is absolutely nothing exploity in that video.... what's cool though is with such a video people will know about it and it'll get more and more people in the Xbox pass ecosystem... whether they think they are stealing from anyone or not is irrelevant... but they actually ate not.... been doing that for years using MS guidelines to do it lol... but he is smart to turn it as it was an exploit to make youtube views money... and his tone is quite funny I added him..
  • This is a feature of Ultimate and it's how you share the games with family members. On the Xbox the games work with all the accounts on your home xbox and on the computer, the games work with whatever computer you sign into as your own computer within the store limits. It will limit how many computers you can install it on and if you stop paying for game pass most games stop working and will take you to the xbox store. I wish the computer side had a real family pass - where my kids live accounts could be linked so I wouldn't have to login to their devices but something is better than nothing.
  • Its not share... the games are installed, the Game Pass account can be removed... the other accounts can play the game forever i.e. a sale. So, its a sale but Microsoft most probably isn't paying the dev/pub for the sale. Furthermore, since the GamePass account isn't used for playing if Microsoft is paying the dev/pub for time played... those won't be counted as the Game Pass account is no longer needed once installed. Its actually better to do this as the games don't expire... you can play the games until you decide to remove the game. Watch the video, people have known this was a thing for quite some time... the guy said he told MS 6 months ago.
  • I see we're you are coming from but the dev/pub get payed by Microsoft not the individual gamepass members. Microsoft will pay the devs/pub's a lump sum to have the game on gamepass for so many months then either renew or remove it from gamepass so its Microsoft who misses out on payment
  • AFAIK most of these deals are based on usage i.e. time played as well as any payment. The games are rotated and the games should expire, so actually is Microsoft is giving a better deal to those that are not Game Pass members. In essence, one could in theory pay $1, install the games on as many machines as possible. Remove the Game Pass account, ask for a refund.... keep the games has a digital sale X machines. Generally speaking, I don't see how the dev/pubs are going to get anything in a usage based system... these appear to be basically sales as the games don't expire. There are multiple videos on youtube, and the comments... I'm just going by what they are writing. Apparently game sharing is allowed, the problem here appears that the games continue to work after the subscription is no longer valid nor the account even on the machine, and the games don't appear to expired for the other user. Basically having a subscription is stupid.... just play all the games for free. Why even have the subscription? Sounds like when Bank of America found out their employees were creating fictitious bank accounts. Create a GP subscription, download what you want, get refund... play for free which appear to be digital sales in nature. This isn't family share, the person doesn't even have to log into a MS account.
  • So I watched the video and to Me it seems to be the same as how it works on the console if one person has it then everyone on that console has it just like how my cousins can share gamepass on 2 different console because one is set as the home xbox so it would be the same with the PC if that app considers that PC as the home PC then anyone logged onto that PC enjoys the benefits. No were in that video does he state that he cut ties to the gamepass and is still using it just that the account he used to set it up is no longer using it but is still ties to that PC as the primary gamepass user if he comes out after a month and says its still working then by all means it's a problem with PC game pass but I'm saying in a month when it goes to renew or runs out it will stop him from playing them
  • Oh and BTW exploits even if real are usually non issues financially most people don't know about them and even if they do they don't use them (out of fear guilt or they just don't care) But don't worry MS or devs are loosing marginal amounts of money even if it did happen ti be true... A few decades back the visa card system had an exploit for les than a few hundred dollars you could have YES cards... cards that would say yes to just about any amount of cash you could withdraw from a DAB. It was signaled, it even went on the news (they attack the guy that warned them about it)you could find schematics and DIY info everywhere... Did you see a bank run and people actually doing it? No Why? Because our civilizations no matter how effed up we might look has always had a little thing called unconscious group ethics and morality.
    Most people are not interested in effing the system
  • It's like couponning... most people don't do it because they don't care, or find it too time consuming, or even better, don't want to look like cheap to others... I know tons of exploits on many services I rarely use them unless I feel the limitation is stupid... for exemple been going around geolock for decades... the last one was for Hulu and streaming services in general but I still pay the subs even if there is exploit to get them free or really really close to it..... I just find that in the internet age the concept of geolocking is just obsolete.... I don't mind paying just provide the content for everyone everywhere at once.... so I use a work around....
  • But most people don't use exploit even if they know about it and most people don't know about them.... So yeah that's a non issue even if it was an exploit which to me doesn't look like it... and if it did become an issue it would take about a quarter second for MS to patch that...
  • No, it doesn't work that way. The Xbox Game Pass subscriber has to take over the Windows 10 Store on the PC you want to install the games on. If you stop paying, you can't play the games. They still login to Xbox Live and the DRM won't renew for single player games. Microsoft lets you install game pass games on multiple PCs, this is how you do it. I'd much rather have my kids listed as family and let them install because if I use my XBL account they can figure out ways to buy crap using my account too.
  • Good luck playing multiplayer games
  • Xbox Game Pass on Switch? Is this actually a Switch? Or maybe a camouflaged Game Pass Streaming Device?
  • I would be shocked, but it would be fantastic if true!
  • It really seems like a goal of Microsoft to have the Game Pass on every platform they can get it on. They are looking to make as much money as they can off the subscription service regardless if you buy the platform. Perhaps someone may like enough games to buy a console down the road. Microsoft loves subscription platforms. They rake in money with other services e.g. Office 365 and cloud storage.
  • This is hilarious. Honestly, if I were in marketing at MS/Xbox I'd do the same, probably more.
  • Does this guy honestly put things on his shelves to play with people's heads? That would be too much reading into it, I think.
  • Maybe anything with Ubisoft ?
    Tencent ?
    Discord ?