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Phil Spencer Takes Over as Head of Xbox Division

The former head of Microsoft Studios will be taking over all things Xbox.

Microsoft's Xbox division has found its new leader, and it didn't have to look far to find it.

Phil Spencer, who most recently served as head of Microsoft Studios, will be taking over as head of all things Xbox at Microsoft. The company made the announcement today via a post on the official Xbox news site.

"I will now be leading the Xbox, Xbox Live, and creative teams including Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios as we deliver the next generation of games and entertainment," Spencer said in the official announcement. "Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world’s most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself. I am incredibly proud of the talented Xbox employees around the world and believe, like they do, in the power of technology to bring games and entertainment to life across console, PC, tablet and mobile devices."

Spencer has spent a quarter century at Microsoft, and officially took over the leadership role at Microsoft Studios in 2008. Given his long tenure at the company and history within the Xbox division, it would seem to make perfect sense to get a guy like Spencer to take over the Xbox team, especially now that the company has apparently reorganized the division to once again have a single leadership position. That role hadn't existed since Don Mattrick left Microsoft for Zynga last year.

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Posted by Mijati

Seems like a good fit

Posted by isomeri

Based on the interviews I've read/seen/heard from Mr Spencer he certainly seems like the kind of guy who has his heart in the right place. Meaning that he considers the Xbox to be a gaming platform first and an entertainment delivery system second.

Edited by Wolfgame

sounds fine to me, I would have to be some super dick to say that I know better than MS who is qualified to fill this position.

Posted by dOm_CaTz

Now that's an image.

Posted by DonPixel

much better than don

Edited by mattman734

Cool, definitely seems like the right guy for the job. I mean of course behind J Allard, but he's back on his home planet now.

Posted by TheBioLover

Good choice

Posted by HammondofTexas

NEWS!

Posted by Village_Guy

As far as I know, that seems like a decent choice, it at least seems like the guy is passionate and cares.

Posted by HS_Alpha_Wolf

I think this is probably the best possible outcome from the reorganization.

Edited by cowgod

Step 1: Get rid of the shitty Xbox Music app on Windows 8 and bring back Zune software.

Edited by Lysergica33

Seems like a good movie and from what I can tell the guy's probably a good fit for the job.

I have pretty much zero interest in the Xbox One as it is, or anything MS is doing these days, but I hope this does good things for them, as stiff competition is good for the industry.

Edited by Viking_Funeral

Some are already calling the generation for Sony. It's way to early for that, but I'm really curious what Microsoft's plan is to recover lost ground.

The Xbox dominated most of last gen by coming out early, with a cheaper price, easier to develop system, fostering indie devs, and still managed to outperform the PS3 on a variety of multi-plat games. Right now that seems to be the playbook of the PS4. So what do they do?

I hope Mr. Spencer can pull something out of his hat. Sony seems like the gamer's friend right now, but it wasn't so long ago that they were saying things like, "[The PS3 is] for consumers to think to themselves, 'I will work more hours to buy one.' "

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Posted by Nhoj_Sllew

this is a good move


Posted by GaspoweR

Yeah that sounds like a great fit to be running the entire division.

Posted by spraynardtatum

Phil Spencer is a pretty relaxed individual.

Posted by StriderNo9

Sure this works. I've considered him the face of Xbox for a bit now.

Posted by Jay_Ray

Great fit and if they wanted to keep Phil Spencer long term he had to be promoted. But I can't shake the feeling that this means Microsoft is isolating the Xbox from the rest of the company so they can either sell or slim down that department without affecting the others.

Posted by MjHealy

Hair quality: insufficient.

Edited by TrafalgarLaw

@viking_funeral said:

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Competition is healthy but it doesn't have to be Microsoft. They should be replaced by a fully competent Nintendo. Microsoft has brought nothing to the table this generation, only anger by trying to take things from people. Microsoft have shown to be detrimental to indies time and time again. The console is not even out for a full six months in most of europe.

I say the return of the king is due, SEGA. A three-way bout between Nintendo, Sony and SEGA would actually drive things forward.

Posted by LucidDreams117

I'm happy with this. Congrats Phil. Looking forward to all things I use that are called Xbox.

Posted by ChrisTilton

Competition is healthy but it doesn't have to be Microsoft. They should be replaced by a fully competent Nintendo. Microsoft has brought nothing to the table this generation, only anger by trying to take things from people. Microsoft have shown to be detrimental to indies time and time again. The console is not even out for a full six months in most of europe.

I say the return of the king is due, SEGA. A three-way bout between Nintendo, Sony and SEGA would actually drive things forward.

Per your comment that Microsoft has brought nothing to the table: By that logic, neither has Sony. Sony just happened to not attempt to enact policy that angered gamers. The systems are early, and I think it's fair to say that they have bought roughly the same amount to the table so far, whether one thinks it's a lot or very little.

Edited by Paindamnation
@cowgod said:

Step 1: Get rid of the shitty Xbox Music app on Windows 8 and bring back Zune software.

this.

Posted by PimblyCharles

The only two other people I know that can rock a blazer like that is Jeff and John V.

Edited by zombie2011

Some are already calling the generation for Sony. It's way to early for that, but I'm really curious what Microsoft's plan is to recover lost ground.

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Far from over, Sony as a company is crumbling. While MS is killing it, their stock hit 14 year highs today. The market hasn't been this bullish on MS since the tech bubble of '99.

MS still has the 4th largest R&D budget in the world. What i'm trying to say is MS has the capital to spend for exclusives, while Sony can't. The longer this generation goes the more we will see the overall companies outlook change the gaming space.

Posted by BaconGames

I was trying to glean who he's replacing but I guess there really wasn't a head of Xbox after Don Mattrick left. I do like the trend of stand up people taking leadership positions both at Sony and Microsoft.

Posted by RazielCuts

Sure this works. I've considered him the face of Xbox for a bit now.

Yeah, I woulda thought this was a given. (And kinda thought he already was the head of Xbox.)

Posted by MEATBALL

I've always gotten a kind of douchey vibe from Phil Spencer to be honest, but he does seem like the best man for the job.

Posted by ProfessorEss

I'm for it.

Edited by mrfluke

i feel like he's been eyeing his position for a while, good on him though, and good on the new CEO for making Spencer the head xbox guy,

he seems like the only guy at xbox that "gets it", sort of renews my faith in xbox one now that he's in charge.

hope there's a good E3 in the works.

Edited by EXTomar

Although I don't hate Spencer, I can't help but believe that the big problem with the XBox One design and launch was that the whole division, including Microsoft Studios, was too insular listening to themselves in an echo chamber they built. I wonder if getting someone completely outside the org would help at least re-synch with the industry on the whole.

Posted by xyzygy

I've listened to a couple podcasts with him and I don't think they could have picked anyone better. He is so relaxed and real.

Posted by Zevvion

State of Decay shirt.

Yes, I trust you.

Posted by rickyyo

@cowgod said:

Step 1: Get rid of the shitty Xbox Music app on Windows 8 and bring back Zune software.

Wasn't expecting to see this in the comment section. Hahaha. I still use the Zune Software cause I still have a working Zune. It is still useable as a software platform it just isn't what it used to be.

Posted by DukesT3

He seems really into heavy drugs to me, but good for him!

Posted by NumberTenOx

@viking_funeral said:

Some are already calling the generation for Sony.

If by ‘some’ you mean N4G, DualShockers, and a small but assiduous, vocal minority on NeoGAF, well, sure, some are.

Posted by ArmedBear

The eyes of Allard are watching you Phil Spencer.

Posted by Sergio

@viking_funeral said:

Some are already calling the generation for Sony. It's way to early for that, but I'm really curious what Microsoft's plan is to recover lost ground.

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Far from over, Sony as a company is crumbling. While MS is killing it, their stock hit 14 year highs today. The market hasn't been this bullish on MS since the tech bubble of '99.

MS still has the 4th largest R&D budget in the world. What i'm trying to say is MS has the capital to spend for exclusives, while Sony can't. The longer this generation goes the more we will see the overall companies outlook change the gaming space.

Buying exclusives instead of making exclusives is terrible for consumers.

Posted by BIGJEFFREY

The Best Choice Possible

Posted by Davosplat

This makes me feel better about Xbox as a brand. Mr. Spencer certainly knows his shit, and I am glad gamers will have a strong advocate running things over at Xbox. No to Elop...

Posted by Robaota

I'm not sure if I can fully appreciate this news without Vincent Caravella's biting critique.

Posted by Viking_Funeral

@viking_funeral said:

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Competition is healthy but it doesn't have to be Microsoft. They should be replaced by a fully competent Nintendo. Microsoft has brought nothing to the table this generation, only anger by trying to take things from people. Microsoft have shown to be detrimental to indies time and time again. The console is not even out for a full six months in most of europe.

Like you said, it's been 6 months.

And to be fair, Sony brought nothing to the 7th gen for the first 6 months. No indie games. Mediocre online play. No trophies. No decent exclusives. According to Dave Lang (and many others) it was a massive pain in the ass to program for. They were coming off an incredible high from having what remains the best selling console in the world, and they arrogantly thought they could do no wrong. If Microsoft gave up after the Xbox, things might have remained that way.

Competition is good. Nintendo has screwed up, several times. Sony has screwed up. And now Microsoft is screwing up. The only thing keeping them from continuing down these self-destructive paths is healthy competition. You don't have to like the competition, just appreciate that it exists.

Posted by EricSmith

@sergio said:
@zombie2011 said:

@viking_funeral said:

Some are already calling the generation for Sony. It's way to early for that, but I'm really curious what Microsoft's plan is to recover lost ground.

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Far from over, Sony as a company is crumbling. While MS is killing it, their stock hit 14 year highs today. The market hasn't been this bullish on MS since the tech bubble of '99.

MS still has the 4th largest R&D budget in the world. What i'm trying to say is MS has the capital to spend for exclusives, while Sony can't. The longer this generation goes the more we will see the overall companies outlook change the gaming space.

Buying exclusives instead of making exclusives is terrible for consumers.

Can you explain this to me? It doesn't make any sense on my end.

Posted by SASnake

@viking_funeral: I like how gaming has become politics!........oh no, wait, its retarded.

Posted by LibrorumProhibitorum

I've always found Phil Spencer to be too robotic on stage, though you could say that for pretty much any Microsoft employee on stage at this point. If Microsoft can be a bit more human, and not in the "It's all good!" Xbox One way, I may be more interested in watching these high up employees speak during press conferences.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Seems like a great choice.

Edited by TrafalgarLaw

@viking_funeral said:

@trafalgarlaw said:

@viking_funeral said:

Without competition, Sony could easily revert to the mentality that they dominate the market and dictate the rules.

Competition is healthy but it doesn't have to be Microsoft. They should be replaced by a fully competent Nintendo. Microsoft has brought nothing to the table this generation, only anger by trying to take things from people. Microsoft have shown to be detrimental to indies time and time again. The console is not even out for a full six months in most of europe.

Like you said, it's been 6 months.

I meant: in most of europe it's not out yet and we'll have to wait for 6 months. Xbox is an american console made for americans. Note the billions wasted in NFL, TV-tuner bullshit, english Kinect voice commands. None of which are coming to europe, yet are the focus of this console.

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