The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, took to the popular Animal Crossing talk show hosted by former PC Gamer Editor-in-Chief Gary Whitta last night to chat about Halo: Infinite’s delay, next-gen hardware, and what makes Nintendo such a special company in the gaming industry.
Spencer had already been slated to appear on Whitta’s Animal Talking when the news first broke that Halo: Infinite would no longer be an Xbox Series X launch game, and would instead release sometime in 2021. Still, people have been curious how Spencer would address the next-gen hardware losing its highest-profile game. Here’s some of what the Xbox boss had to say:
Let me start just by recognising the fans and the fact that is is a bummer, as you said, and I know it’s disappointing to people, it’s disappointing to us. We were looking forward to the alignment of Halo Infinite and the Xbox Series X as a really kind of seminal moment almost for Xbox looking back to the original Xbox with Halo: CE.
I’m not trying to deceive anybody, when I know something and we know something lets get the news out there and deal with it cause people are making their own life decisions on platforms they’re going to buy, consoles they’re going to buy.
While everybody was going to be disappointed, our long-term goal is to deliver the best Halo game we’ve ever delivered and let’s keep that goal and do that when we can.
Spencer did say that Microsoft had at one point considered splitting Halo: Infinite up in order to get part of it out the door sooner, but ultimately decided against it. “It just didn’t feel, to all of us, like the Halo release that we would want,” Spencer said.
During the lengthy interview, which even included some dad-joke stand-up, the Xbox executive also briefly discussed next-gen hardware, saying that he currently has a retail version of the Xbox Series X in his home and comparing the noise level of its fan to that generated by the existing Xbox One X, according to The Verge’s Tom Warren. Spencer said cooling has been one of the biggest challenges this console generation, and suggested that was one of the reasons why the Xbox Series X and PS5 look so different from one another.
Spencer also had a few words to say about Nintendo, the company whose smash hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons made his Animal Talking guest appearance possible in the first place:
In the entertainment business, you know, most things don’t turn out to be huge successes so there always has to be some amount of surprise, but Nintendo is just masterful at what they do, and I’ve said it before, I think they have the strongest first party pedigree out there and strength, and they’re a jewel for us in the games industry and something we should protect.