“I just look at Windows”, Spencer explained. “It’s almost certain if the developer is building a Windows version of their game, then the most powerful and highest fidelity version is the PC version. You can even see that with some of our first-party console games going to PC, even from our competitors, that the richest version is the PC version. Yet the PC ecosystem is the most diverse when it comes to hardware, when you think about the CPUs and GPUs from years ago that are there.
“Yes, every developer is going to find a line and say that this is the hardware that I am going to support, but the diversity of hardware choice in PC has not held back the highest fidelity PC games on the market. The highest fidelity PC games rival anything that anybody has ever seen in video games. So this idea that developers don’t know how to build games, or game engines, or ecosystems, that work across a set of hardware… there’s a proof point in PC that shows that’s not the case.”Spencer’s wider point is that advanced games can be created that don’t also cut out a section of the existing playerbase: “We should applaud load times and fidelity of scenes and framerate and input latency, and all of these things that we’ve focused on with the next generation. But that should not exclude people from being able to play. That’s our point. How do we create an ecosystem where if you want to play an Xbox game, we’re going to give you a way to go play it?”
“As a player you are the centre of our strategy,” Spencer adds later in the interview. “Our device is not the centre of our strategy, our game is not the centre of the strategy. We want to enable you to play the games you want to play, with the friends you want to play with, on any device. On TV, the Xbox console is going to be the best way to play console games. Xbox Series X is the most powerful console out there and it will have absolutely the best versions of our console games. But that’s not to exclude other people from being able to play.”
Spencer also adds that he’s playing cross-gen games on his Xbox Series X, and that he does feel a change in quality: “I’m playing it every day at home, and it is different to playing on an Xbox One X.”The choice to allow for true next-gen exclusives is one of the most notable points of difference between Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. While Xbox has committed to the idea that its first-party games will be playable across generations, Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan has specifically said that he’s uninterested in making PS5 games run on PS4 hardware.
“We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console,” Ryan explained, “that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.”
You can check out mroe of the differences between the two upcoming consoles in our PS5 vs. Xbox Series X comparison chart.