Xbox head, Phil Spencer, is officially done with console tribalism. In an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast, Spencer calls the console wars “one of the worst things in the industry.” Microsoft and its industry counterpart, Sony, are often considered rivals in the gaming world — competing with each other over the release of new consoles and game exclusives. However, Xbox’s Head of Gaming is over fans constantly pitting the companies against each other. Spencer even goes as far to say it would force him out of the industry.
As gamers log countless hours into console exclusives and spend money on console specific hardware, it’s easy to understand why brand loyalty is so prevalent in the gaming sphere. However, a fine line is drawn between loyalty and fanaticism. The overzealous fan boy grows rampant in the gaming sphere and the introduction of next-gen consoles has only made it worse. On social media, brand loyalists constantly rave over their favorite company and the worst even go as far as to harass others who support the competition.
Spencer isn’t the only gaming head tired of console tribalism. In an interview with TASS, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, Jim Ryan, was asked if the console war was still on with Microsoft. The PlayStation head replying,
[Console wars] is not a term I ever use or actually like. For me, it’s great that there’s competition. I think it makes us work harder. It avoids us getting complacent. It’s great that the consumer has a choice. I think that’s wonderful. We’re happy and we’re proud with what we have.
In an effort to curb this toxic behavior, both Xbox and PlayStation have shown support for one another through social media posts. In the beginning of November, both companies congratulated the other on their next-gen console launch. PlayStation responded to Xbox’s launch tweet with a Mortal Kombat 11 Friendship Finisher, while Xbox sent the heartfelt message, “generation after generation, it’s been a pleasure to game alongside you.” How sweet!
— Xbox (@Xbox) November 10, 2020
Phil Spencer says, “it’s more important to focus on how the industry is doing well as a whole,” rather than focusing on one company’s success. He emphasizes the advancement of crossplay between consoles in the industry and its role in turning competition into cooperation. Hopefully, gamers will be able to see more options for crossplay in the future but until then, it’s important they treat each other with respect — regardless of console choice. If both Microsoft and Sony can make nice, why can’t we? In the wise words of Xbox’s Twitter account, “However you choose to play, happy gaming.”