As a Nintendo fan first and foremost, I found his (and therefore the Xbox as a brand’s) views on local multiplayer pretty interesting.
When asked why there’s be no local multiplayer in Halo 5, he says:
“We see the robustness of what Xbox Live is today and where people are playing across Xbox Live- you at your house, me at our house. We know that’s the vast majority of the co-op play.”
And that’s fine. Xbox know their market. He goes on:
“While I loved the split screen of Halo 1, obviously it was kind of how multiplayer in Halo was born, I think the team made a trade-off based on what they see happening in the market today and what they wanted to do with their game.”
But of course.
The majority of Xbox One owners would rather a better looking, more polished single screen experience they can play co-op online with their friends.
They would rather the team dedicate time and resources to making the online multiplayer experience the best it can be, instead of worrying about local co-op that most customers won’t use.
When asked if it’s fair to suggest most co-op is done over Xbox LIVE these days, Spencer replies:
“Well, we obviously don’t know for machines that don’t connect, but yeah. When you look at where most of the multiplayer happens in games, Live (is the place) just because it’s so easy. I don’t have to have somebody at my house. I love the nostalgia of the couch co-op of what Halo did in the past, but I also know in the realities of the day with people’s busy lives, it’s not as easy to get everybody in the same physical place.”
See? We can all get along.
Nintendo has historically gone in the other direction with their multiplayer philosophy. They prefer to focus on local multiplayer and the old school fun that it can offer when done well.
They’re slowly but surely embracing the opportunities online multiplayer opens up, and Wii U has taken some pretty major steps toward catering to both crowds.
Xbox clearly understands their market, and even with a less than stellar line up of games available, sales numbers for the Xbox One would indicate their market knows them, too.
You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU
You can read gamespot’s full interview with Phil Spencer here.
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