Phil Spencer has explained why Microsoft will not be releasing the sales number for the Xbox One.

Speaking to, Spencer stated that it is in the player’s favor to focus on Xbox Live engagement across every platform rather than separating them.

“I don’t want people to start painting a strategy onto us that everything we’re doing is about selling you an Xbox console because that’s not actually what we’re trying to do,” Spencer explains. “So then I kind of feed the wrong view into the business and what we’re trying to get done if I play into a number that’s actually not a number that we use to drive our strategy or our focus on delivery of games.

“So I know certain people will say. ‘Oh, that’s PR speak and he’s just a suit and he’s kind of walking around it.’ I will say, fundamentally, how many people we can get on Xbox Live – we just announced Minecraft coming to iOS and Android connected with Realms, that’ll be more Xbox Live customers coming in – having those people engaged on the service buying games is the fundamental part of the strategy, whether they’re on Windows, Xbox, or, frankly, on other devices.”

Spencer also stated that comparing Xbox One sales numbers to those of the PlayStation 4 promotes a shift towards a strategy that takes the focus away from the players.

“[If we release unit sales numbers,] the dialogue then turns into the other discussion of, ‘Hey, what can you do to sell more Xbox Ones than Sony sells PlayStation 4’s.’ And I would say, the answer would be probably not put my games on Windows because then you have to buy an Xbox One in order to play those games. But then that’s not what we actually get from our customers in terms of what they want.

“So then it starts this whole [dialogue.] I start having to answer the other question of, ‘Well, why don’t you do more things that are counter to the actual core strategy that you have?’ when the discussion that I want you and I to have is the engagement success of the studios putting the customer at the center. Xbox Play Anywhere is a program you would never do if all you were focused on was selling more Xboxes… Honestly, I’m not focused on doing things purely to outsell PS4 with our Xbox One. We’re doing things beyond that.”

At E3 this past week, Microsoft announced a much more powerful version of the Xbox One, currently called Project Scorpio. The system will launch in 2017. You can also check out our roundup of Microsoft’s E3 presentation here.

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