Phil Spencer: ”If this is not the year when a family wants to buy a new Xbox, that’s okay”

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a great impact on many peoples lives. People are losing their jobs, have less security about the future and might need to cut budgets for entertainment. In an interview with the BBC the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, talks about Microsoft’s plans for launch later this year in a very different situation than they’d imagined.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, engages with fans at the Xbox 2019 E3 Briefing at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images)

First of all, Spencer expects the console, services and operating system to be ready for launch in Autumn. During this interview he doesn’t talk about Halo, but during a previous IGN interview he already alluded that the plan is still to launch Xbox Series X with Halo.

His concerns are more related to macro-economic circumstances.

”We see the impact of people getting furloughed and layoffs. It’s tough.

And we are a leisure activity. We’re not a requirement. We’re not food. We’re not shelter.

So we want to be really tuned in to that as we launch. How can we make it as affordable as possible? How can we give buyers choice? We’ve got an Xbox All Access subscription programme that allows people to buy their next console by paying a monthly charge.

And if now is not the time for you to buy a new console, and you’re going to stay with the console you have, we’re going to keep supporting that console.

And through technologies like smart delivery, you can buy your games and know that when you buy the next console, your games will move with you, to allow consumers to make the choice that’s right for them.”

It will be interesting to see when Microsoft and their primary competitor in the console business – Sony – reveal the pricing of the consoles. It seems Microsoft has a plan, with Xbox All Access and the rumoured Lockhart console. A plan they didn’t make for this pandemic, but which could turn out to be the right call after all. Want to read the rest of the interview with Phil Spencer? Head over to the article on

Pieter "SuikerBrood" Jasper

29 year old gamer who grew up with Commander Keen and Jazz Jackrabbit. A PC Gamer. (Sorry, not sorry). Dutch, but actually Frisian. Loves Age of Empires, Sea of Thieves and wishes for a new Viva Piñata.

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