The folks at Gamesradar had a chance to chat with Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, to discuss the future of gaming on Xbox One and Windows 10. In the interview Spencer had the chance to talk about skepticism for the new Windows 10 initiative, the Windows 10 unified Store, Virtual Reality in gaming, the possibility of HoloLens on Xbox One, and the future of Kinect.
When speaking about skepticism for the gaming dimension of the Windows 10 initiative, Spencer’s comments embody the new shift at Microsoft to admit to failures, learn from them, and work with developers to improve upon them. Gamesradar mentioned how the previous failure of Games For Windows Live (GFWL) eight years ago would give many pause to think gaming on Windows 10 is something to look forward to.
Spencer responds by saying he “embraces the skepticism people might have because of [GFWL].” He goes on to say:
“I can understand somebody saying, ‘Hey, you’re going to have to earn my trust back.’ I’m not showing any fancy videos, I’m not trying to pizzazz you with anything other than, ‘Here’s what we are; here’s what we’re trying to do. And the [Software Development Kits] are available now.’”
Spencer also discusses that he doesn’t see Windows 10 unified store for apps and games across all devices will be adversarial to Steam as he says “I think there are enough gaming customers to go round, and I don’t expect anybody’s going to delete their Steam account when they buy a game in the Windows Store and vice versa.”
Gamesradar also asked about Microsoft’s interest in Virtual Reality (VR) for gaming in light of all the announcements of different VR projects and Facebook’s Oculus Rift coming to market in 2016. Spencer responds saying that, while different than augmented reality, VR is an interesting space and that Microsoft’s work on HoloLens is not something that “precludes us from doing something in the VR space.”
Spencer goes on to talk about how the focus for the HoloLens team right now is to make it a successful standalone, untethered device first before any public discussions about Microsoft’s augmented reality device in relationship to gaming on Xbox One.
He also assures that Xbox isn’t abandoning it’s Kinect Sensor for Xbox One but that they realized,
“...price point’s really important for the console – we saw that over the holidays in the UK and US, where we did well when we dropped the price, which was great. And I want to make sure consumers have choice on how much they value the functionality of Kinect when they buy a console. If you want to go buy a Kinect console [bundle], then they’re still available.”
With E3 being less than a month away, expect more news on Xbox gaming and hopefully more news about gaming on Windows 10 as the launch of the new OS nears as well.