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Xbox boss Spencer speaks Scarlett, Game Pass and streaming

Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, speaks about Project Scarlett and Project xCloud in a new interview.

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Phil Spencer - Head of Xbox

Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, speaks about Project Scarlett, Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass in a wide-ranging new interview.

In a new interview with The Guardian’s Keith Stuart, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has outlined Microsoft’s approach to developing its next-generation Xbox console – currently codenamed Project Scarlett – and the future of its video game streaming and subscription services.

Speaking about developing the Xbox console, Spencer says:

“Current gen consoles are like arm wrestlers – they have one big arm, which is the GPU, and one little arm, which is the CPU. When those things are more balanced, it will allow us to provide a better game feel through frame rate consistency and lower input latency. But I also think that can transfer through to the emotional feel we get in game.”

With the – somewhat shambolic – launch of Google Stadia this week, Spencer’s comments on the Project xCloud streaming platform are also interesting.

“The best way for you to play in your home – today, tomorrow, next year – is going to be on a local piece of hardware.That doesn’t mean that there’s not a future in cloud. Right now, xCloud is in preview, because we don’t think we’ve figured out all the answers to what cloud gaming is about, and we don’t want to try to get people to buy into the unknown. But we’re a big company. We can support the unknown. We will evolve.”

Project xCloud’s potential integration with Xbox Game Pass is also touched upon. Subscription services will be core to the Xbox offering in the future, and Game Pass may even receive additional non-game products or tiered levels of game access.

“We’ll also look more and more at how we can help other subscriptions, as well as our customers, by maybe landing subscriptions inside Game Pass. You might have seen the promotion we did with Spotify [which provided Game Pass subscribers six-months of Spotify access for no extra charge]. I think you’ll see us do more of that.”

The full interview is well worth a read. Head over to The Guardian.


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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Fire Emblem Three Houses, Skyrim (still), and Grid.