Tag Archives: Phil Spencer

Original Xbox games could see the light of day again

original xbox

Way back at E3 was one of the biggest surprises to hit many Xbox fans, the implementation of backwards compatibility for 360 games and it being available that day for Xbox Preview members and everyone else for the official launch in November 2015. Earlier today on Phil Spencer’s Twitter we saw an exchange of messages relating to what else backwards compatibility could offer us.

original xbox phil

Backwards Compatibility will launch this November with a large roster of 360 titles at its disposal with more to follow in due course, while this is in no way a confirmation we can take away that it is at least being thought about by Phil Spencer and the Xbox Team. Hang on to those Original Xbox discs for a little while longer, Is there anything you would want to replay from the original Xbox days? I still have my Ninja Gaiden Black and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas ready to go!


Keyboard and mouse support coming to the Xbox One

In a response to a follower on Twitter, Phil Spencer suggests that keyboard and mouse support is coming to the Xbox One.

Currently the Xbox One does support the use of a keyboard, but for nothing more than text input.

It is not clear on how far the addition of a mouse will change how gamers can play on the Xbox One, and whether it will then allow cross-platform competition between PCs with Windows 10 the Xbox One.

What do you think? Are you happy to hear that Microsoft are implementing keyboard and mouse support, or do you think that should sit firmly with the PC crowd? Is this, along with the Elite Controller, a sign of a new age for Xbox as a more competitive console, or are you happy with the current control scheme?

The death of the parity clause?

ID@Xbox has been bringing indie games to the Xbox One steadily over the last year and a half. Meanwhile, the new preview program will be bringing even more indie titles to the console with a heavier dose of community participation and early adoption. The Xbox One indie scene, then, is looking healthy and vibrant.

However, you may remember back around the launch of the Xbox One in 2013, Don Mattrick and the Xbox team introduced the parity clause, an agreement that indie titles had to be released first on Xbox One or simultaneously with any other platform they were launching on. There was certainly more nuance to the clause, with a stipulation that titles could come to the console later if they were enhanced or included additional content, and the creation of the ID@Xbox team softened this blow even more as they considered titles on a case-by-case basis with dedicated support, but whether due to initial confusion about it or because it was intended to be as limiting as it seemed, initially this appeared to be a killing blow to small indie developers.

Elite Dangerous

The arguments from developers was that creating a game in the first place is hard enough, developing it to launch on multiple platforms simultaneously is insanely difficult and time-consuming. It’s a limitation that threatens the likeliness of projects ever seeing the light of day.

On the Microsoft side, however, was the argument that Xbox One players would feel short-changed to be playing a title X months or years after it first released on another platform. That it wasn’t fair to make Xbox One players wait.

In an interview with The Inner Circle Podcast in October 2014, Phil Spencer said this about the clause:

I don’t want somebody to come in and just think ‘I’m going to go do a special game on one platform and then I’ll get to Xbox whenever I get to it.’ I don’t think that’s right. As Xbox one customers we want good games as they come out on both platforms. But I also get that for some guys they just can’t afford the time to get both done. So we have entered into the conversations with people as they are launching it and I feel pretty good about the plan.

Both indie developers and Xbox had an argument for and against the clause, but the potential barriers this erected for indie developers was clear to see. But while this may be the reason for the slow initial trickle of indie titles hitting the console, the last year or so has certainly seen an increased flow.

The indie titles have been raining from digital clouds and pooling comfortably on the Xbox One more recently, including many that have previously released on other platforms. With so many titles seeing release regardless of previously launching on other platforms, is this parity clause such a bad thing after all? In fact, does it even really exist any more?

OddWorld New-n-Tasty

Yes and no seems to be the answer, but don’t just take my word for it. An interview in the latest Edge Magazine let’s you proverbially hear it from Phil Spencer himself:

Is the parity clause dead now?

Edge ask.

I think so.

Phil Spencer replies.

There’s this idea that’s been named ‘parity clause’, but there is no clause. We’ve come out and been very transparent in the last four or five months about exactly what we want. If there’s a developer who’s building a game and they just can’t get the game done for both platforms – cool. We’ll take a staggered release. We’ve done it before, and we’ll work with them on that. If another platform does a deal with you as a developer to build an exclusive version of your game for them, and you can’t ship on my platform for a year, when the games comes out in a year let’s work together to make it special in some way. People complained about that, but you did a deal with somebody else and you for paid for it and I’m happy – we do those same deals, so I’m not knocking you. It’s going to be better for you, actually, because people don’t want last year’s game, they want something special and new.

SteamWorld Dig 1

Based on the releases we’ve seen since the console’s launch it’s clear there’s been some wiggle room with the clause, and indeed the idea of having the Xbox One version enhanced in someway if it is delayed on the console has seen a variety of new content and scope of new content hit these titles. Phil Spencer’s latest word on the clause clarify its evolution to a much fairer and beneficial program for all parties. It’s not gone completely but over the last year it’s been evolving to meet the needs of developers, Xbox, and consumers.

Finally the confusion over this parity clause is beginning to clear up, and hats off to Xbox for listening to developers and the community about changes to such policies.

The future for the indie scene is looking brighter than ever!

Watch Phil Spencer’s GDC presentation

Yesterday there was a huge amount of exciting news coming out of GDC, with the announcement of Elite Dangerous getting the TiX team giddy with excitement. If you’ve yet to digest the mountain of ID@Xbox content that Phil reported on, then take a look at Phil Spencer’s full GDC presentation below – the only dampener on yesterday’s news is the rumour that Phil Harrison might be leaving Microsoft.

Phil Spencer reveals controller adapter


The news from GDC comes thick and fast. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer has announced a new gadget that will allow you to use your fabulous Xbox One controllers on your Windows PC.

This will be a wireless adapter so no messy cables to get in your way while playing your Windows games with your trusty Xbox controller.

Spencer said,

The wireless device you use on Xbox One will work on PC as well. We want to see that input isn’t a barrier. Gamers should be able to play the games they want to play.

No price was revealed but it was confirmed that the adapter will be available this year.

The 360 controller was available for Windows machines, with the easiest method being to simply buy the wired version as the touted wireless adapter at the time wasn’t actually that readily available. Good news for any cross-platform titles you may be planning to play in the new, upcoming Windows 10.

Xbox One Screenshot feature gets a screenshot

That Phil Spencer is such a tease, last night he took to twitter to show off one of the most wanted Xbox One features – the ability to take screenshots.

The screenshot was captured from his Xbox One dev kit, no doubt the feature will be rolling out in the coming months with Xbox One Preview program members getting access to the new feature first.

Double tapping the Xbox button on your controller brings up the floating guide screen where you can access a multitude of features including the ability to press X to “record that”. The new screenshot feature works in a similar way with the ability mapped to the Y button – I would also assume that you’d be able to call out to the Xbox to “Screenshot that” using Kinect.

Looks like Xbox One will soon be flooding twitter with its own #XOshare – I can hardly wait!

Xbox One to get a screenshot feature early this year


Ever want to take a screenshot of your work on Xbox One? It’s been no secret that the ‘other console’ has been able to do this using their ‘share’ button with some pretty neat results; well now the Xbox One will be getting that feature too.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, said,

Screenshots are coming early this year,

I know it has been a question for quite a while. We delivered themes [and] I think a natural add-on to themes are screenshots.

Giving people more ability to share their great gaming moments on the platform, whether it’s just as a screenshot, as their background or through many of the different social networks that we allow people to share their content through is a long-term commitment that we have.

There’s an update scheduled for the Xbox One next month – which will include the ‘game-hubs’ feature. We wouldn’t put our houses on the screenshot feature being part of that, but it could be a part of the next update maybe?

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Teases E3 2014 Plans

E3 2014

Phil Spencer, the new head of Xbox and the twitter user with a classic Xbox logo (so outdated) has taken to twitter to respond to questions about this years E3 2014 conference in LA.

“I feel like what we will show this year is stuff we are committed to, from top studios, for this year and future,” Spencer said via twitter. It seems gamers’ are in for a treat this month as according to Spencer, “you’ll get a couple things before” the show. He promises that May will be a “good month for news,”!

Microsoft’s E3 2014 announcements are said to consist of “both new IP and new sequels,” and some surprises from new studio’s the company are working with. The main focus is said to be around the ‘hardcore gamer,’ and that we’ll even see some Japanese Xbox One games at the show because Spencer teased “you won’t have to wait until TGS” to see them.

It’s likely both Halo and Call of Duty will take the main stage for top franchises on the Xbox One console with teasers possibly relating to the next Gears of War which is currently in development from Black Tusk Studio’s.

We’ll keep you updated with all E3 2014 news as it comes in, or around the net!

Thanks Gematsu via Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer Announced as New Head of Xbox Division

Xbox Phil

Microsoft has today announced that Phil Spencer, will now be leading the Xbox, Xbox Live, and creative teams including Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios going forward.

Speaking with Xbox Wire, the Xbox Official News Site, Spencer posted a letter to the Xbox community entitled ‘A New Day at Xbox’. After confirming the announcement, Phil went on to say to the Xbox Community:

The growth of the Xbox community, with over 80 million Xbox owners around the world, is built on the foundation of exclusive franchises, new and original IP and the world’s most popular cross-platform games. Games and gamers have always been at the core of Xbox and the core of my work—and gaming will be our core as we take Xbox forward. 

This past year has been a growth experience both for me and for the entire Xbox team.  We’ve taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer.  Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.

You will hear much more as we head into E3, but we are at the beginning of an incredible new chapter for Xbox and I can’t wait for the days and years ahead.  This is going to be fun.

@XboxP3 (Phil Spencer’s Twitter handle)