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200M sales expectations to blame for rocky Xbox One launch, says Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, has offered some fresh insight into what was going on behind the curtain during the Xbox One's infamously rocky launch. 

Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, has offered some fresh insight into what was going on behind the curtain during the Xbox One's infamously rocky launch. 

Speaking bluntly to Stevivor about Microsoft's decision to focus heavily on features like DRM and media streaming during the console's unveiling, Spencer has revealed the company was under pressure to figure out how it could sell 200 million systems. 

Those internal expectations resulted in Don Mattrick's team pitching the device as an all-in-one multimedia hub that "could be at the center" of the video on-demand movement. 

In hindsight, says Spencer, that was a mistake. And it's one he's been trying to rectify since he was moved up in 2014. 

"When we came in after two-and-a-half years ago and started running the Xbox program, I centered us back on not trying to become something other than a game console," he explains. 

"You don't earn the right to be relevant in other categories of usage for the console until you've earned the gaming right, so let's go make sure that's what we deliver."

He's keen to emphasize that Microsoft's wayward focus wasn't part of some evil corporate plan. In fact, Spencer says the approach was "quite rational, from a "pure business standpoint." Unfortunately for Microsoft, it was also extremely naive. 

"It's not like people aren’t watching YouTube and aren't watching Netflix and Amazon and anything else that's there," continues Spencer, "but I still think that we have to succeed with gamers first before we get any permission to go do anything else.”

To hear more from Spencer, you can read the full interview over on Stevivor.

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