"Regaining that trust and that mindshare with the customer, the gamer, is incredibly difficult."
The PlayStation 4 is, and has been, outselling the Xbox One since nearly day one, with trouble from the disastrous announcement of the Xbox One leaving many gamers hesitant to place their trust in the console, and the company. At the 2015 GeekWire Summit, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer explained that he is focusing on rebuilding trust in the Xbox brand, rather than trying to beat the PlayStation 4.
"For me, what we fundamentally lost was the trust of our most loyal customers," Spencer said, when asked about the early decisions made at the time of the Xbox One's reveal. "Whether it's 'always on,' used games, whatever the feature was, we lost the trust in them that they were at the center of our decision making process. Were we building a product for us, or were we building a product for the gamers? And as soon as that question came into people's minds... what you find is very quickly you lose the benefit of the doubt."
"Have we recovered? I feel really good about the position and the product and the brand right now, but I was at the Gamestop Manager's Meeting about three weeks ago, and I'm sitting with 5000 GameStop managers in Las Vegas, and they'd come up and they still have customers that walk in the store that think that the Xbox One won't play used games," Spencer added, stating that most customers will internalize the initial message of a product and won't take the time to read what comes after - in this case, doing away with many of the more unsavory features that were announced with the reveal of the Xbox One. "Regaining that trust and that mindshare with the customer, the gamer, is incredibly difficult."
"I started off making statements like 'we want to win'... But what I quickly realized was you can only control, as a leader, what you can control," Spencer said. "Sony is having incredible success with PlayStation 4, and they've earned that. But for me as a leader of my team and somebody who is interacting with the Xbox community it was much more beneficial and I could have more impact focusing on the product we had."
"I would never question the ability of our organization, but I'll say we're not motivated by beating Sony, we're motivated by gaining as many customers as we can."