At E3 2016 last month, Microsoft made some major announcements related to its platform strategy going forward. One of these is a new feature called Xbox Play Anywhere, which will bring Xbox One and PC closer than before.
Now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has spoken up to say Microsoft's efforts to partially unite console and PC are not in response to Sony's commanding lead in the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 race.
"Sony is doing incredibly well with the PS4 but they're doing something fundamentally different from us," he told The Guardian. "We're not building a strategy in response to what they're doing; we're building a response to what I see customers and gamers asking us for."
For its part, Sony's Andrew House recently suggested that the company is not going to follow in Microsoft's footsteps and unite PlayStation 4 and PC.
"I always hesitate to be drawn into discussions of someone else's strategy," he said during a meeting with analysts and investors this month. "I'm more than happy to talk about our own strategy. Yes, there was a big emphasis from the folks at Microsoft on Xbox and PC cross-play. It remains to be seen whether there is latent large consumer demand for that.
"But we don't see it as really effecting or prompting any change in our thought process and strategy," he continued. "We've always tended to believe that a proprietary ecosystem offering a very well crafted, unified client experience is the way to go, and that sort of remains our strategy."
Also in the interview, Spencer said Microsoft is not trying to "turn PC gamers into console gamers or console gamers into PC gamers." The Play Anywhere feature is all about choice and catching up with other forms of media.
"So if you're at school and want to play a couple of rounds of a game and then you go back home and want to continue on your couch, that seems normal," he said. "Every other kind of media--your music, your movies--everything else works that way."
As part of Play Anywhere, users can buy a game digitally on Xbox One and get the PC version free or vice versa. As Spencer mentioned, your progress will move with you wherever you're playing, though there isn't always going to be cross-play support.
Play Anywhere kicks off in September with Mega Man designer Keiji Inafune's ReCore and continues with Forza Horizon 3 later in the month, while October's Gears of War 4 will also support the feature. Some non-Microsoft games, including We Happy Few and Ark: Survival Evolved, are also included in the Play Anywhere catalog.
In other news about Play Anywhere, Microsoft recently cleared up some confusion about the supported games, saying only the ones discussed on stage at E3 are confirmed for the program so far. A blog post from Microsoft previously stated that that all future Microsoft-published games would be Play Anywhere titles.