And Spencer said that safety is paramount to the decisions Microsoft is making in response to the crisis.
“The thing that i’m going to put front and center is safety and security of the team,” he said. “There’s no decision I will make, or frankly, anybody at Microsoft would even ask me to make that would compromise the safety and security of the teams for a near-term either financial or product gain. The teams are the most important thing.”
9 New Xbox Series X Images
Spencer declined to hypothesize about any sort of what-if scenarios should any kind of delay be necessary due to COVID-19’s impact on hardware production and software development. And while IGN has recently spoken to several analysts who have posited that COVID-19 might not cause a next-gen delay but possible shortage of availability, Spencer was adamant that one of the biggest lessons learned after the Xbox One launch was the detriment of delayed launches in different territories.
“I will say, having lived through the Xbox One launch, I know that significant delays in region launches hurt us. It hurt us with the sentiment of the fans. Every time i go to japan, I’m reminded that we were nine months late in launching there with Xbox One,” he said.
Spencer also spoke a bit about the launch of Series X, noting that if everything else — the hardware, services, etc. — are ready to go, there’s no one game he’d hold back launch for. And yes, that even likely means Halo Infinite.
Every Xbox One First-Party Review
“If everything was there, for the software and the services and the hardware, I don’t think i would hold it for any individual game,” Spencer said. “Obviously the big one you think about is Halo, it’s so iconic with the [original Xbox] launch. Bonnie [Ross] and the [343 Industries] team are doing a really good job on Halo Infinite right now. They’re learning as well just as we all are. We’ll go in eyes wide open on what we’re trying to get done, but I don’t think we’d hold the launch of the overall platform for any individual game.”
Reiterating the focus on the safety of his teams and the uncertain nature of the world as it responds to COVID-19, Spencer also spoke at length about the next-generation of Xbox, including how he feels it stacks up so far to the PS5, as well as diving deeper on why the Series X doesn’t have an optical port.Xbox Series X is scheduled to be released during Holiday 2020. RIght now we know the Xbox Series X specs, we have an educated guess on its price based on those specs, and a full comparison with PS5. What we know far less about is Xbox Series X games, but we have a list of confirmed and rumoured titles for the next-gen console.
You can watch the full episode of Podcast Unlocked above, where Spencer also talks about the company feeling good about competing against PS5’s power and price, and the practical reasons for why the console doesn’t have an optical port.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.