On the PR front, there’s no doubt that this is a better console launch for Xbox than the last. For some reason, the company just couldn’t read the play and was mired in controversy and consumer confusion. This was due to plans for the Xbox One to require a constant internet connection and have an overly complicated way of playing second-hand games.
Talk on a podcast with IGNPhil Spencer acknowledged this controversy and admitted that the company had made mistakes. Describing it as a “founding moment” for the team, he says the negative reception from fans was a “cold dose of reality”.
The Xbox boss admitted it was a “tough year” for the brand, but was positive about it nonetheless. Explaining how he thinks the negative feedback was helpful, Spencer goes on to say, “We had a lot to learn. But the things I see in the team now, like listening to the community, challenging ourselves, not getting stuck in the mess we’re in.[…]much of who we are today comes from this first year of Xbox One launch.
Spencer also touched on other more successful elements of the console in the podcast. Speaking of Xbox’s work in video game accessibility, particularly with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, he said he thought it was a sign of the industry’s “maturation”. He also says accessibility and diversity are areas that will be explored further in the era of the Xbox Series X / S.
The Xbox One launched in 2013 and actually didn’t contain any of the controversial elements that were so badly received when the console was announced. Plans for it to require a constant internet connection, while making it extremely difficult to borrow games, were scrapped before launch, but nonetheless tarnished the reputation of the console at such a vital time for the brand.
Bad PR wasn’t the only thing holding him back at first. Microsoft has also continued to hang on to the Kinect, offering one with every console purchase. However, this increased the overall price compared to the PS4 and was eventually dropped.
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