We've long been talking about Xbox as an ecosystem of services rather than a single console. The same Phil Spencer has reiterated in the past how the future of gaming is disconnected from traditional platforms and if we take a look at what today means Xbox world for Microsoft the reason for this statement is easy: under this heading, in fact, both the current Xbox One and the next Series X and Series S fall, but also services such as the Game Pass – both from console and PC – and the Project xCloud streaming game (also ready to converge in the Game Pass from September).
In short, it is clear how the Xbox division has become a set of entrance doors to the gaming world and not a single entity, leaving it to the player to choose the one that best suits his needs. This premise allows us to give a credible context to the latest statements by Phil Spencer, made on the occasion of the podcast Animal Talking (a real talk show turned on Animal Crossing).
The head of Xbox, in fact, reiterated that Microsoft is not interested in evaluating only the number of consoles sold; it does not matter if Sony or Nintendo manage to place more units than the volume reached by Xbox. Spencer supports his thesis by stating that if this had been important, the company would not have decided to bring their exclusives to PC and would not have integrated xCloud in the Game Pass Ultimate. Unit counting is therefore a typical practice of other houses, not of Microsoft, Spencer added.
These statements are important as they advise us which elements to consider in the future analysis of Microsoft's performance. Probably the Redmond house is aware of the fact that continuing to focus exclusively on hardware would not have had an easy life in this sector, therefore choosing to adopt a broader strategy, which places services at the center of everything. Of course, to date we know that the Game Pass does not represent a source of profits for Microsoft, however this has been defined as a long-term investment, the fruits of which will only arrive in some time.
For the moment we just have to accept and take note of Spencer's statements; to understand if the change of course will have produced results, it will not be enough to compare the number of consoles sold with respect to Sony, but it will probably be necessary to start considering the active user base on the platforms, a much more indicative signal of the real use of a service.