Microsoft is renewing its focus on Xbox software and services, according to Xbox chief Phil Spencer speaking to Bloomberg.
The company's original ambition for the Xbox One spanned not just gaming but also a wide range of TV and media capabilities, coupled with a Steam-like download-based distribution model. Sony, in contrast, focused squarely on gaming and had somewhat more powerful hardware to boot. The reaction from the gaming community to Microsoft's plans was hostile, and while the company backtracked both on the media focus and the move away from physical media, the Xbox One has consistently trailed the PlayStation 4's sales.
Microsoft's position was further weakened by a shortage of first-party, exclusive titles. As Nintendo has demonstrated over the years, a solid stable of first-party titles can go a long way toward overcoming hardware weaknesses. But rather than expanding its development efforts, Microsoft has done the reverse: last year it shuttered UK developer Lionhead and Danish developer Press Play.