Xbox boss says Microsoft can't outsell PlayStation anymore

xbox series x and s consoles
Xbox boss says Microsoft can't outsell PlayStationMicrosoft - Getty Images

Video game 'console wars' have been part of the industry for decades, with pundits and fans alike debating (to put it mildly) why certain systems and games sell by the bucketloads and why others fall by the wayside.

Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox consoles have been pitted against each other since the early 2000s, considering they target the same markets and often share the big third party titles like Grand Theft Auto and FIFA.

While the consoles themselves are, on a technical level, more similar than ever, both the PS4 and PS5 far outsell Microsoft's offerings, the Xbox One and Series X|S. Considering Sony's big-budget narrative-focused games like God of War and The Last of Us often top critics' best of lists, it's easy to see draw a connection between these acclaimed games and console sales numbers.

xbox series x and s consoles
Microsoft - Getty Images

Related: Xbox apologises following Redfall launch

An in interview with Kinda Funny Games, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted that Xbox is unlikely to outsell PlayStation this generation, and that the company doesn't actually want to compete in the 'prestige game' category, preferring to focus on their Game Pass subscription service across console, PC and, via cloud streaming, smart phones/tablets/TVs.

"We want Xbox to be something that people who buy our consoles can feel like members of a full ecosystem. We're fully committed to that. We're not in the business of 'out-consoling' Sony or Nintendo, there's not a win or solution for us," he said.

"It's not true that if we go up and build great games, that you'll see console shares go up massively. If we focused on great games, that doesn't mean we'll win the console race."

He pointed to upcoming Microsoft exclusive Starfall, and stated that "there is no world" in that the game is so well-received that people will sell their PS5s and use the money to buy an Xbox Series X|S.

Related: Xbox Game Pass free games for May 2023, wave 1

It could be argued that the lack of big acclaimed exclusives has led to Microsoft not meeting its internal Game Pass subscription targets for two years in a row (via VGC), but the tech giant has been investing heavily in buying developers and publishers — in spite of its admission that Game Pass has taken a big chunk out of software sales (via Push Square).

Unfortunately for Microsoft, its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard King for a record-breaking $69 billion (which Microsoft promised wouldn't take the best-selling Call of Duty franchise away from PlayStation) has been blocked by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

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