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Microsoft's Phil Spencer reminds us we're all in this together
March 13, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

"Being a fan of Xbox doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of something else, or that you have to be an anti-fan of some other brand. I own a PlayStation 4. I play games on my PlayStation 4. I own and play games on my Wii U, and I learn a ton from what happens on those other platforms."
- Phil Spencer, speaking to Geoff Keighley during an interview at SXSW.

Microsoft Studios head honcho Phil Spencer took pains to show support for his competitors at Sony, Nintendo and other major players in the console business during an interview with Geoff Keighley conducted on stage at the South by Southwest conference in Austin last Sunday.

“I don’t know if it’s my favorite part of the industry, but there seems to be this natural faction that gets created around what console you own," said Spencer. "There’s this...I would call it 'unhealthy' dislike of people who own the other console.”

“I think it should be competitive, but the competition is in the marketplace," replied Spencer, when Keighley gently pressed him to address the importance of competition in the console market. "I have a ton of respect for the people at Sony for the franchises they’ve built. Same thing with Nintendo, or my friends at Valve."

"In the end, I think what we all want to do is take this art form of playing games...and make a better form of entertainment. And continue to move entertainment forward. And Jack [Tretton]'s not a barrier to that; he’s been a strong proponent of that."

The interview ranged across a few other topics of varying import, including the challenges of launching the original Kinect and the future of the console market, but Spencer's public demonstration of respect for his company's competitors and his efforts to exhort viewers into supporting the industry as a whole are especially laudable. A significant portion of the interview is now available on YouTube, and we've taken the liberty of embedding it above.

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Joe Augustine
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Yes, we are in this together, competing against each other for more market share, but still we are in together. Feels like I am not being honest here even though there is some sense of purity. But, I applaud Phil for taking this stance.

Andy Cahalan
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I've not got anything to add... but seeing how they've been bashed around so badly the one thing that came to mind is a quote from Withnail & I. "The only thing you've been in that I have is this f**king bath".

I'm sorry...

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Dave Bellinger
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An optimistic message of course, but a fair bit disingenuous to a good amount of consumers. This is going to sound more snarky than I wish it to be, but being head of Microsoft Studios makes being able to enjoy all these consoles rather easy.

People tend to take sides when they know they only have one choice. Not saying you have to agree or excuse the behavior, but if you refuse to understand it, I think that's just silly.

John Flush
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I think the industry exists this way because its roots are with kids that only had the money to buy one console a generation or so. You tend to favor what you have in order to justify the price you paid for it.

In addition to this though some of the hatred I see is because of how brands are treated in different regions or customer base demographics. I totally welcome this sort of stance. How else can on push back the corporate billionaire agenda? And while people are at it, they might as well drag as many people to their fight as possible.

Mike Griffin
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It's good form to analyze the competition's product up close in a free society like ours. As Phil says, "I learn a ton from what happens on those other platforms" -- obviously he and his team are looking at the competition's functions, services, content delivery, etc., not just sampling the games. Largely in an effort to ape or surpass the competition's apparent advantages.

Which in turn is intended to produce more revenue and profits for the company.
We're all in this blender together.

I like Phil's call out to end the bullshit pseudo-aggressive console fanboyism that is currently propagating the gaming interwebs like a flesh-eating bacteria. I tend to chuckle at these mock-zealots, knowing that many of them will come to own - and enjoy - multiple consoles by the end of this generation.

Matt Ployhar
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Right Phil....

Not everyone in the world has the means to to buy all 3 Consoles like you do. While I agree that choice is good, even necessary, I don't ascribe to buying in to the notion that there needs to be so many proprietary platforms. That my friend is utter B.S. Proprietary platforms don't have the best track record - open tends to win every time. Lest you forget what made Windows so successful early on.

Truth of the matter is - once you own 90% market share on an OS for traditional PC Form Factors - the bean counters decided that they needed to try milking the gamer populace twice; instead of making a simple fix to bring Windows to the living room.

Just add a mouse & keyboard to the Xbone - and you might be able to save it. Stop clowning around.

Troy Walker
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agreed! so much possibility lost... I should be able to easily connect my Xbox and Windows PC together on my LAN and share/play between them with either PC/Console game.. truly sad IMO.