Phil Spencer on the return of the XO event

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"We want to make sure this show was really focused on what we're doing now, but also show a glimpse of some of the things that we're doing in the future."

Phil Spencer kicked off X019 in London by explaining why Microsoft has decided to reinvigorate XO events themselves.

“For those of us that have been around a while, we remember X0… used to be an event that we held in Europe,” Spencer said in an address to media this morning. “That was more at the beginning of the holiday season where we would make it about press. We’d make it about announcements.

“A couple of years ago when the Xbox leadership team started to rethink what we wanted to do and we saw our FanFest becoming so popular, we said, ‘Let’s bring back X0 and let’s see if we can take the best of the FanFest, the best of the community of gaming, which we think is so important to the future of gaming and what Xbox is about and bring that together with some news.'”

XO returned in 2018, though in a non-European locale: Mexico City. Spencer said bringing the event back to Europe was “exciting”.

“Mexico City was the first in our kind of re-imagining of what X0 was about, and we’re incredibly excited to be back here in London to do what I think is the biggest event we’ve ever done in London with X019,” he said. “Rest assured, this is really about the community of fans. It’s about the thousands of people that will come through those doors and get to play games that aren’t yet released and get to just share in the great community of what gaming is about.”

As for the show itself, Spencer asserted that “it’s an interesting time in the games industry” at present.

“We have new competitors coming into the games industry,” he continued. “We have things like streaming. We have subscriptions. We’re on the verge of a next round of console hardware from us and some of the other players. We want to make sure this show was really focused on what we’re doing now, but also show a glimpse of some of the things that we’re doing in the future.”

Stay tuned from more with Xbox head Phil Spencer at X019.

Steve Wright attended X019 in London, England as a guest of Microsoft. Travel and accomodation were supplied by Microsoft.