Xbox Series X, the next generation gaming console from Microsoft, would launch during the holiday season this year and the division head Phil Spencer believes that staggered launches across different regions makes no sense in the age of social media.
Spencer confirmed that the Xbox Series X launch would happen during the fall because his team hadn’t given a plan B in case the coronavirus pandemic created a situation where the launch had to be staggered.
“I will say, having lived through the Xbox One launch, I know that significant delays in region launches hurt us,” Spencer said. “It hurts us with the sentiment of the fans and every time I go to Japan I remind that we were, what was it, nine months late in launching there with Xbox One?” he said in a podcast.
There are some challenges
He went on to suggest that Microsoft had to content with various issues before the launch though most of these revolved around the software. Such being the case, launching the system itself in a staggered way would not solve the challenge. Spencer said the current launch of the Xbox Series X is “holiday 2020” and the teams are stretched to accommodate the new system of remote working.
Spencer also revealed that the supply chain in China was coming back after the pandemic ravaged the nation and work on the console hardware was on track. Any delay could be only limited to the software side, but the Xbox division head doesn’t seem to think it likely.
He also revealed that Halo Infinite, the shooting game being developed by 343 Infinite, would release along with the upcoming console, the pandemic has already delayed the launch of Wasteland 3 and Minecraft Dungeons, both published by Microsoft.
What about PS5?
In response to a question over how he would respond to the PlayStation 5 (PS5) specification that were revealed some time back, Spencer said he felt even better. The Xbox Series X boasts of more CPU and GPU power than Sony’s configuration.
“When we saw the public disclosure, I felt even better about the choices that we made on our platform. And I kind of expected that I would. The hardware team…that did… Xbox One X…I have a lot of confidence in them. If I give them the time and the targets to go hit… I just believe in their ability to… create,” he said.
A strong overall package
He did not reveal any new information about the price point for the Xbox Series X but made the point that he was confident about achieving the target pricing. The pricing should be relieved later this summer.
“I feel good about the price we'll be able to get to. I feel good about the price and performance capabilities that we have with Xbox Series X. I feel incredibly strong about the overall package… We think it's a winning plan… We're going to make sure we stay agile on our pricing.
On the issue of eliminating loading times on the new system, Spencer said making Microsoft’s game streaming service Project xCloud available on consoles made a lot of sense for immediate play or testing various games. However, the best experience would still be on the local hardware.
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