Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, recently sat down with gaming magazine Edge to talk about several different topics including console sales and Microsoft’s competition with Sony. Spencer said that their competition with Sony only helps the video game industry and that the total sales of next generation consoles shows the continued strength of the console market.

This lines up with what I reported yesterday that quarterly sales for both the PS4 and Xbox have increased over prior year, and that the PS4 has sold more consoles in its respective lifecycle than the PS2 and PS3.

When asked about Microsoft’s presentation at E3 and how they sit with the competition Spencer replied, “I have a lot of respect for the team at Sony and the success they’ve had with PS4, and it’s a great time for the console industry.”

He continued, “I’ve said this a few times, but four years ago when I was sitting doing these interviews it was, ‘Do people need consoles any more?’ and, ‘Isn’t this just dead? Everybody’s playing on their phone.’ And now you’re looking at the PS4 having sold over – I don’t remember their last number – but over 20 million. And we’ve sold a ton of Xbox Ones globally, more than we’ve sold 360s [in the same period]. We’re both doing really well, and I think Nintendo has a plan for the future – I don’t know what the NX is, but it’s great just to see the business being done.”

Being part of a company that has such a global reach as Microsoft, Spencer went on to talk about areas for improvement, “We need to do better in Europe. When I look globally, mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on. I’m excited about going to Gamescom at the beginning of August, having another press show where we’re able to show games that we didn’t show here.”

When asked why they’ve suffered in Europe Spencer replied, “Sony does a really good job in those markets, and they have a long history – long before we were in this business – and they’ve earned the success that they get in those regions. I watch what they do because they do a lot of good things, and I want to make sure that we’re being smart about succeeding. And there are places like Latin America where Xbox does really well, and in the US the numbers keep going back and forth – it’s good competition which I think is good for everybody.”

Spencer also talked about backwards compatibility, elite controllers, and the Early Access Program which you can read about in the full interview here.

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