There are exciting times ahead for gamers if Phil Spencer has anything to do with it. The new head of Xbox has spoken with CNN Money and speaks about the importance of listening to feedback from customers so that products are tailored to meet specific needs. Responding to a question about the change in decision to protect games with DRM, Spencer says that he told the vocal opposition to heart — “I took it personally — you’d be hard-pressed to find someone at Xbox who didn’t”.
Moving forward, Xbox One owners should have some sensational titles to look forward to as there will be a strong focus on exclusive games for the platforms. Long gone are the days of being able to find the same games available for every console, in the modern age of gaming it is the exclusive titles that pull in customers — as demonstrated perfectly by the likes of Titanfall and Ryse: Son of Rome.
Unique games are also likely to stem from ID@Xbox which encourages independent developers into producing games that might not otherwise have made it to market. And it is very early days for this particular venture, with the promise that “long term, we also have plans to enable any retail Xbox One to become a dev kit, making it even easier for games to come to the platform”.
Innovation is the name of the game, and to keep things unique and interesting there is great potential to be found in second-screen gaming. “Dead Rising 3 was a great example, where Capcom turned your SmartGlass device into your character’s phone, so it meshed seamlessly into the world of Los Perdidos. It wasn’t a requirement, but it was a helpful tool. Other games use SmartGlass less for gameplay and more for menu navigation, and that works well too. It all just depends on what’s right for that particular game, and my hope is that as other developers see the kind of thinking teams like Capcom have put into their use of SmartGlass, we’ll continue to see that functionality expand.”
The One Microsoft vision should impact on gamers as much as Windows users. “Whether you are using your Xbox, PC, tablet, or phone, we want you to have access to an immersive, personalized, and entertaining experience.” But the most interesting aspect of what the future of Microsoft gaming might entail is that it is gamers themselves who can help to determine the direction in which things are taken.
The importance of listening to what customers have to say is something that the Xbox team have taken on board. “We were reminded just how important it is to listen to our fans,” says Spencer. And it is something that is set to continue: “We proved they can impact the products we make. Maintaining an open dialogue with Xbox fans is a commitment we’ll continue to uphold.”