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Phil Spencer opens up about the Xbox Series X pre-order experience

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It was in part due to “old world thinking”

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has revealed that he and Sony’s Jim Ryan had both “lamented” how difficult it was for gamers to get their hands on a next-gen console.

In an interview with The Verge, Spencer revealed his thoughts on a variety of topics, including the difficult release of the Xbox Series X.

Many fans had pre-ordered the console, only to be met with supply shortages, and shops were selling out of stock as soon as new units arrived. This caused considerable chaos in the first few weeks of release, with some people told they may not receive their pre-ordered console until after Christmas.

The interview response hinged around an assertion that times were changing, with Spencer expressing his opinion that “old world thinking” may have hindered the release. Microsoft wanted customers to be able to buy consoles in-store as well as through pre-order, so reserved units for this purpose which may have led to the delay.

Reflecting on the decision, Spencer said: “We want people to feel like there’s some consoles to go buy, and it’s not just the day where everybody gets to go pick up their [pre-ordered] console. I don’t know if that’s the right decision in today’s world”.

“That’s very old world thinking, people are going to go line up outside of a store, kind of last decade thinking. I think we should challenge ourselves on that. Is that really the supply chain through the consumer that we’re talking about, that is a reality? We talked to our retail partners about this as well.”

Arguments on Twitter have seen fans asking whether pre-orders should be promised when companies cannot keep up with the demand, reacting to Amazon in particular who cited “high demand” as a reason for delays.

The interview covered a lot of ground, including a section where Spencer spoke out about ‘console wars’ and their ability to damage the industry.

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