There’s room at the top for everyone if it’s done right.

Phil Spencer revealed in a recent interview with Fortune Magazine that Xbox has a refreshing take on the console competition that has characterized gaming for decades. The industry veteran stated that he doesn’t need to pull down Sony to lift Xbox up.

In fact, Spencer was quick to point out that Microsoft and Sony have had a working relationship for years. Spencer referenced Sony shipping PCs with Windows on them as an indicator they’re more partners than rivals. Spencer then stated his philosophy on game development and console competition:

“This idea that the only way for any of us to succeed is by pulling down someone else just isn’t the way that the industry works today.”

While it’s fun to refer to each generation as a console war still, the reality is that’s not really true. Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo operate on different axes these days, and collaboration is beneficial to all. Spencer’s point was really hammered home when he pointed out Microsoft owned Mojang and Minecraft. He stated that the ownership made them one of Sony’s biggest third-party publishers—not exactly the cutthroat competition of yesteryear.

It’s not like Spencer doesn’t want Xbox to compete, though. It’s more that we’re in an industry that’s thriving so much and so quickly, there’s a piece for everyone who is willing to grab at it. That’s a valuable lesson and some keen insight into an industry that moved beyond one console to rule them all years ago. You can see the entire 40-minute interview between Spencer and Fortune Mag below:


Cody's Take


It’s not easy to admit that collaboration is sometimes better than competition, and I think Phil Spencer’s interview is a great example of how to handle it. Xbox and PlayStation being at war is, at this point, pretty silly. Beyond just the partnerships Spencer mentioned, they’re both selling millions of consoles and games. In an industry as diverse as gaming, options are more important than just one dominant monopoly.

Sometimes it’s tough to shift perspective on that, though. I know I still catch myself thinking there’s a console war happening this gen and next. The fact of the matter is that these companies working together is so much better for us, though.

These companies working together is so much better for us.

Think about the possibilities next-gen. Access to Microsoft’s cloud technology for Sony could be massive. Open communication could lead to bigger partnerships, too. Maybe we’ll get something like Marvel vs. Capcom, but for Xbox and PlayStation. OK perhaps that’s going a little too far. But still, with collaboration and a willingness to push forward without tearing each other down, there’s a lot that could happen. I personally can’t wait to find out.