In a brief interview with Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, newly appointed Head of Xbox Phil Spencer spoke more about his new role. Many of Spencer’s comments reiterate points from our recent interview, but he spoke more broadly on the importance of fans and Xbox’s place in the broader Microsoft organization.

Spencer said he learned a lot from the reaction to his appointment. “I will honestly say I learn a ton from listening to the feedback,” he says. “I think it’s going to be a foundational element to the culture of this organization. I want the two-way dialog. We hear what fans say. They have great ideas, and we should use that as an input to how we build our product.”

He also discusses how he will be interacting with Microsoft senior leadership, including CEO Satya Nadella. “I wanted to have a discussion with him about how important gaming is to Microsoft’s success,” Spencer says. “I wanted to see Xbox as a core product in Microsoft’s long-term vision.”

Spencer says that discussions around gaming at Microsoft go beyond the Xbox One. He says that he, Nadella, incoming vice president of devices and services Stephen Elop, and executive vice president of operating systems discussed “making sure gaming is something that permeates every consumer product we build, led with what we’re doing with Xbox One.”

Spencer says he’s spending most of his time right now getting better acquainted with the different Xbox teams and preparing for E3. He mentions the importance of June’s event in Los Angeles. “It’s our responsibility to stand up on stage and give them the promise of the games that are coming.”


Our Take
Spencer is saying the right things to win over a community that soured on Microsoft and Xbox less than a year ago. Driving home the “games first” message and being more open with fans will go a long way as Microsoft continues to repair relationships with the core gaming audience.