Phil Spencer recently sat down for a thirty-minute interview at the Geekwire Summit 2015 convention. During the interview, Spencer admitted that the Xbox had lost consumer's trust and that they were aiming to win it back. He said “For me, what I think we fundamentally lost was the trust of our most loyal customers…We lost the trust in them; that they were at the center of our decision-making process. Were we making a product for us, or were we making a product for the gamers?”
This all sounds great, and Spencer has often been praised for his openness and honesty, however I find myself having a very hard time trusting him after all the lies the Xbox One was built upon.
It’s very easy to forget that at launch, the Xbox One needed always online functionality; that it was integral to the entire experience and the Xbox One couldn’t function without it…Until Microsoft U-turned on that. It’s easy to forget that Kinect was supposed to always be attached to the Xbox One, that it was necessary for all the features, and crucial to the Xbox One experience, until Microsoft decided it wasn’t and basked in the positive press of a cheaper system, hiding behind the “player's choice” defense.
Microsoft has openly admitted that they lied to all our faces with the Xbox One, so it should be no surprise to anyone when Phil Spencer admits they lost player trust. It’s their own fault, and rather than applauding the man for admitting that, we should be booing, demanding Microsoft prove to us that we should trust it again.
The fact that “were we making a product for us, or for the gamers” was even a question that was brought up in the initial meeting is galling, and shows how little Microsoft respects its audience. You make a game console for the gamers. Period. All gamers, no matter what they can or can’t afford. So forgive me when I don’t immediately trust a company that was gung-ho to alienate any of their audience that didn’t have internet, couldn’t afford a new game every time it came out, or wanted to share games with friends. And when they say they’re sorry. I’m not buying it.
The fundamental aspect of any relationship is trust. Once that trust is broken, it’s a herculean task to get it back. Microsoft really needs to prove to me the Xbox One, or later consoles are worth having. That they actually have the consumer’s best interest in mind and they’re working to give us the best experience. Talk is cheap, it’s time Microsoft, put your money where your mouth is.