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Phil Spencer says catching up to PS4 isn’t Xbox’s goal

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has spoken a bit about the prospect of catching up with the PlayStation 4’s sales, and why that isn’t at the top of Microsoft’s priority list.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Spencer explained that as the leader of Microsoft’s Xbox division, he is more concerned with nurturing the install base the Xbox One has rather than being worried about matching the PlayStation 4’s sales numbers.

All I can do is focus on Xbox, and I love that. I love our fans and the partners we have. We’re growing Xbox year on year, we’re bigger than we were this time in the 360 generation, so generation over generation we’re in a better spot, year over year we’re in a better spot. We’re seeing more people online, more games being sold, more consoles being sold. So generally I feel good about the trajectory we’re on.”

When directly asked if he thought the Xbox One’s sales could catch up the PS4’s (which currently sits at over 22 million), Spencer explained that it wasn’t something the company was actively working toward to try and claim market share over Sony.

I honestly don’t goal the team on how many units Sony sells. I think about what we’re going to do, and how many Xbox customers we have across 360, Xbox One and Windows – thinking about the combined community of people on Xbox and playing those games, and that number’s never been bigger.

There are ways to sell consoles by losing more money on hardware and building an unnatural business construct that I’d never want to do – at the end, when people make a commitment to Xbox and the consoles they buy, the games they buy, they want to know that Microsoft and Xbox is in it for the long run. To sacrifice the long term for any short term gain doesn’t make any sense. I really focussed on our first-party investment, and you see it showing up in 2015 and 2016. Next year’s line-up is pretty incredible, and we haven’t even talked about all the games that are coming next year. Investments in first-party, there’s more risk involved, and people can say it’s more challenging building first party investments, and you could say it’s easier doing third-party deals, but they’re critical to our business, and we’re in this for the long run.”

The Xbox One is believed to have sold approximately 13 million units since its launch in November of 2013. This year, Microsoft is releasing what it calls the “best line-up in Xbox history,” with games like Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, Fable Legends, and Rise of the Tomb Raider all being exclusive during this holiday season.

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