Shortly before this console generation kicked off in 2013, there was speculation that the era of the home video game console was coming to an end. Four years later, the critics have changed their tune as the PS4, Xbox One and Switch have all been successful (especially the PS4), but that doesn’t mean consoles are here to stay.
On the eve of the Xbox One X launch, Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke to Bloomberg about the future of Xbox and why the company will begin shifting its focus from hardware sales to the development of more first-party software.
“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer said. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.” No matter how great the Xbox One X is, no one is going to care if it doesn’t have a great lineup of games.
But even as Microsoft pushes the Xbox One X over this holiday season, it has already started to adjust its strategy by introducing services like Xbox Game Pass, which allows Xbox One owners to pay a flat rate of $9.99 per month to gain access to a library of over 100 games that they can download directly to their consoles.
And that’s just the beginning. According to Bloomberg, Spencer says that “Microsoft will probably debut a streaming service that doesn’t require a console for some types of content in the next three years.” By that time, providing Microsoft has enough first-party content to justify such a service, it could make a huge splash.