‘I’m going to put the safety and security of the teams at the top’
Things are constantly in flux right now. Some countries are just now in the throes of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, and others are starting to flatten the spread of it. But if things continue as they are right now, Microsoft boss Phil Spencer doesn’t expect any delays for the Xbox Series X.
Speaking to IGN, Spencer notes that some factory and supply lines in China are starting to go back to work (4:30), implying that production of the Xbox Series X is back on track. Spencer even confidently states that there is “nothing right now that says we’re not going to make the dates we’ve been planning,” but that the situation could change: citing that the pandemic is “real-time stuff.” Spencer follows up by saying that he’s going to put the safety and security of his team first, should the plan be altered. He also semi shuts down the plan of a staggered regional launch due to a production delay, saying he would be “hesitant” to allow that to go through.
We’ve seen a few very board-friendly comments on how everything is normal these past few weeks, but Spencer has been strikingly candid ever since he took over as head of the Xbox division. Even in this very interview he admits that the Xbox team is “stretched,” and opens up regarding a few past corporate mistakes, including the huge and ill-fated TV push for the Xbox One early in its lifecycle. That said, Spencer says that he “feels good” about the Xbox Series X after watching Sony’s Cerny-led PS5 presentation.
When he says he “lived through the Xbox One launch” — what a quote, and what an executive. Spencer has been a breath of fresh air recently amid very silent and very safe corporate climate.