In an interview with Eurogamer today, Microsoft Studio's vice-president Phil Spencer responded to recent criticisms from Sony, noting that Microsoft's willingness to listen to its customers was a strength, not a shortcoming.
When Microsoft decided to change a number of its policies for the Xbox One — like ditching an always-online console and mandatory Kinect — some took it as a sign of positive change for next gen. Still, during yesterday's Sony presentation at Gamescom (a game trade fair held in Germany), Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, criticised Microsoft's change.
"While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires," House confidently stated, right before revealing the date that the PlayStation 4 will launch.
Phil Spencer doesn't think the criticism is warranted, judging by his remarks in the Eurogamer interview.
"Other people will do and say what they're going to say. Fine. We're running our program. That's a strength of who we are," Spencer said.
"We built a platform for gamers. Gamers invest their time and their money in the things they want to play, and they're going to invest their time in telling us what they love about the platform, and they're giving us feedback on areas where they have more critical feedback.
"The two-way conversation we have with our customers is a strength. Certain people have tried to turn that into something that's a bad thing about what we're trying to do, and I just disagree."
You can read the rest of the interview here, although it should be noted that Microsoft may bring back some of the features that were cut after the backlash, provided that people want them — some of the features, like always-online, although not convenient for all players, were the result of a vision of a digital future. Stripping away the marketing speak, what I mean is that the policies that Microsoft initially had in place could have allowed for arguably progressive scenarios such as family-sharing plans, not being restrained by discs, and lowering game prices, amongst other things. Still, creating a "digital ecosystem" remains a "core philosophy" according to Spencer.