Head of Xbox says console tribalism is "one of the worst things in the industry"

midian182

Posts: 6,298   +53
Staff member
In brief: Nintendo vs. Sega, Nvidia vs. AMD, Apple vs. almost everyone, tech history is filled with rivalries, and it’s not unusual for buyers of these companies’ products to defend them with a fervent passion. It’s something that’s especially common between Xbox and PlayStation owners, but head of Xbox Phil Spencer doesn’t appreciate console tribalism.

You’ve probably already seen social media posts from Xbox Series X/S and PS5 fans throwing insults at each other. It’s something that’s gone on for decades; I remember arguing with a friend over which was better, my Amiga 500 or his Atari ST. But when brand loyalty turns to a toxic hatred of a competitor, that can damage the very industry people love.

“That tribalism in the industry, if there was anything that would ever drive me out of the industry, it’s actually that,” Spencer told The Verge’s Decoder podcast. “When a team releases something into the market for … the world to tear it apart on the internet, it’s just such a brave thing for a team to do. I’m never going to vote against any creative team or any product team to do poorly because I have a competitive product. It’s not in me. I don’t actually think it helps us in the long run in the industry.”

Spencer noted how gaming is now more popular than ever and pointed to features such as crossplay as an example of how companies are trying to bring gamers together, no matter which console (or PC) they own. “But there is a core that just really hates the other consumer product,” he said. “Man, that’s just so off-putting to me... To me, it’s one of the worst things about our industry.”

Spencer added that the biggest competition faced by Microsoft wasn’t from the likes of Sony or Nintendo, but “apathy over the products and services, games that we build.”

The executive has long said that the most important thing to Microsoft’s gaming business wasn’t selling more consoles than its rivals but expanding Xbox services such as Game Pass and xCloud to more people. “If [selling more consoles than Sony and Nintendo] was our approach, we wouldn’t put our games on PC. We wouldn’t put our games on Xbox One; we wouldn’t do xCloud and allow people to play games on their phones,” Spencer said back in August.

Check out our feature on the biggest rivalries in tech history.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,064   +4,162
Console Tribalism is over.

Anyone who buys one console, will most likely buy "the other".

When I was a kid in the 80's, there were true "console wars". Winner stays, loser gets bankruptcy.

Nintendo vs. Sega is the perfect example.

the Free Market is always right...and the Free market will decide which system is best and deserves the investment.

Thing is: I personally believe the corporations: Nintendo, Sega and Sony are working together to control release dates and control console life in order to ensure that they maximize sales.

There's room for 3 big system makers and even the 4th (PC).

Whether I buy Nvidia or AMD, there's room for both.

Whether I buy PS5 or Xbox, there's room for both.

Oculus Quest 2 vs. Vive Index...

People who still sign up for Tribalism don't seem to understand that Modern Corporatism is about inclusion rather than exclusion.

The bottom line: we can take all of their money.

The tribalism is really "manufactured outrage" in order to convince buyers that their personal choice in some way hurts the opponent or the system.

Apple vs. Android.

It makes no difference to me what phone someone else buys. The only thing that matters is what I have.

There's enough market in the world to support "good products" while eventually wiping out "bad products".
 
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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,064   +4,162
Can be said about tribalism in general.
No one should be dedicated to a brand to a point that they're toxic about it.
Conflict Theorists would argue that "tech Darwinism" is better.

I personally appreciate the vicious, cutthroat nature of commercials that specifically target other products and are effective at demonstrating why they aren't as good and why you should invest in better.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,137   +1,802
TechSpot Elite
Can be said about tribalism in general.
No one should be dedicated to a brand to a point that they're toxic about it.
Yup. While butting heads over which is better (if done in a non-mentally challenged way) and discussing pros and cons is fun, the hate filled trolling that you see on many forums is a huge turn off.

I remember arguing with a friend over which was better, my Amiga 500 or his Atari ST
Oh yes, Commodore vs. Atari - started even with the 8 bit machines. Not that this kept us from visiting each other and enjoying many a game on the other guys' "inferior" computer.

Back then, sadly the irony that the Atari ST was developed by former Commodore employees and that the Amiga was developed by former Atari employees was lost on us.

In either case, there was one thing both team ST and team Amiga could agree on - that PC were really inferior :)
 
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fps4ever

Posts: 617   +797
Although I agree in principle with his sentiments its a lot easier to build a platform without worrying about numbers when you own the entire ecosystem, aka, Windows, xcloud, Xbox, etc. Sony relies on just one hardware/software platform line of consoles so numbers matter more for them. Just looking at it in a different perspective. Hard core fan boy hatred is bad for everybody.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,138   +1,308
Gamers like games, Spencer. I'd imagine the complaints about the lack of Xbox exclusives across generations have more to do with the low growth than fanboys. That's what I keep hearing anyway, so what do I know?
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,035   +469
Gamers like games, Spencer. I'd imagine the complaints about the lack of Xbox exclusives across generations have more to do with the low growth than fanboys. That's what I keep hearing anyway, so what do I know?
Exclusives are way overratted. They arent needed except for Sony since they have nothing else to offer but even those times are coming to a end. PC is getting Sony exclusives. Which ones and when is unknown for the most part. Some may even take years but its all coming to a end.

Crossplay is the next big thing. People for the most part like and want it. Sony even said they wont do crossplay and wants to keep its players on their platform/console. Less than 2 yrs after Sony said that, it supports crossplay. Granted MS pushing them helped a lot.
Working together to bring games and players united is what this should be about. No matter how anyone feels about a company, MS, Nintendo and Sony, this is now the time work together n give us the experience no matter the platform.
 
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gamerk2

Posts: 462   +352
Honestly, now that every game I play with friends supports crossplay, and the few exclusives I play release on PC anyways, I really don't see the need to get a console anymore. I'm not bothering this generation, and this is coming from a guy who's purchased pretty much every console ever (and I still have my TG-16 and Neo-Geo to prove it). There's just no need anymore.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,138   +1,308
Exclusives are way overratted. They arent needed except for Sony since they have nothing else to offer but even those times are coming to a end. PC is getting Sony exclusives. Which ones and when is unknown for the most part. Some may even take years but its all coming to a end.

Crossplay is the next big thing. People for the most part like and want it. Sony even said they wont do crossplay and wants to keep its players on their platform/console. Less than 2 yrs after Sony said that, it supports crossplay. Granted MS pushing them helped a lot.
Working together to bring games and players united is what this should be about. No matter how anyone feels about a company, MS, Nintendo and Sony, this is now the time work together n give us the experience no matter the platform.
I strongly disagree.
 

Xallisto

Posts: 119   +117
Humans love divisions, it's in our nature to separate things into us and them. And then comes the conceit that "us" is always the better half because it's the part that's inclusive of you.

It's sad but I'm not sure how were gonna get rid of it anytime soon.
 

Arbie

Posts: 176   +338
"the biggest competition faced by Microsoft wasn’t from the likes of Sony or Nintendo, but ... apathy over the ... games that we build.”

What a surprise! I find very few action games interesting now, because they rely on grind and repetition. The advent of consoles as the largest installed base began around 2005, and those lacked the option of manual save / Quicksave, probably for some even earlier technical reason. PC games, which had sensibly always had this feature, soon began dropping it. Forcing players to repeat levels artificially increases gameplay time; and you can bill it as "hard core" which always sounds good. Sad.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,569   +3,753
Conflict Theorists would argue that "tech Darwinism" is better.

I personally appreciate the vicious, cutthroat nature of commercials that specifically target other products and are effective at demonstrating why they aren't as good and why you should invest in better.
And you would trust that kind of marketing? :rolleyes: