Phil Spencer Explains Why Xbox Originally Decided To Compete Against PlayStation
Image: Microsoft/Sony Interactive Entertainment

There's nothing better than a bit of healthy competition, and the rivalry between Sony and Microsoft over each of their games consoles ensures the systems remain fresh and unique. Over the years we've had new and meaningful additions such as Xbox Game Pass, and the acquisition of multiple game studios, so the player is always winning. But why did Microsoft get into the gaming industry in the first place? Xbox head Phil Spencer has shed a little light as to why.

In the recent Crackle series, Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story (which is only available in the US), Spencer was asked why Microsoft wanted in on the video games industry, when it seemed so impenetrable at the time with Sony and the PlayStation. Bringing a smile to Spencer's face, he answered and revealed it wasn't as much of wanting an "in", but to "defend" itself against a growing market.

"As with a lot of things in Microsoft's history, I'm not sure we wanted 'in' as much as we wanted to 'defend'. The home for Windows was important, PCs in the home were critical to Microsoft's growth, and we wanted to make sure that as video game consoles were growing, that we could show what a Microsoft Windows platform in the home could do, and video games were a great avenue for us to do that."

Spencer also went on to comment in the series about the success of Xbox Live, and how it was a "big bet" for the company which he is proud about. Here's a little bit of what he had to say:

"The reaction of [Xbox Live] I think we were pleased by, but we also did kind of expect it, so it was a big bet for us, and I'm proud of that in the history of Xbox, the amount of focus we have on online gaming, and I think that's an innovation that the teams brought to console in the home that really help make that a norm and an expectation."

It's clear the idea of Xbox Live has paid off and Microsoft's decision to join the gaming industry has made them one of its leaders today - even managing to thrive alongside PlayStation from the very earliest days. Where the company will go now is anyone's guess, but with services such as Xbox Game Pass on the rise, it seems like a bright horizon.

Do you agree with Spencer's comments on Xbox's rise? Let us know in the comments below.