Xbox isn't giving up on discs yet, Phil Spencer says: "Our strategy does not hinge on people moving all-digital"

Phil Spencer
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Even with its continued push for Game Pass, Xbox has no intention of fully abandoning disc-based games, according to Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer.

Spencer tells Stephen Totilo's Game File that Microsoft will follow players in regards to abandoning discs. "We ship games physically and digitally, and we're really just following what the customers are doing," Spencer says. "And I think our job in running Xbox is to deliver on the things that a majority of the customers want. And right now, a majority of our customers are buying games digitally."

Spencer also notes that "gaming consoles themselves have kind of become the last consumer electronic device that has a drive," which could drive up the cost of getting drives in these machines and thus affect decisions about whether new console models will continue to accept discs. That'll be especially relevant as we look toward the long-rumored Xbox Series X refresh, which was at one point planned to go entirely digital according to the leaked Brooklin design.

"I will say our strategy does not hinge on people moving all-digital," Spencer adds. "And getting rid of physical, that's not a strategic thing for us." That'll be relieving in the wake of rumors that physical disc production had been shut down amid all the Xbox layoffs.

If you'll forgive the very corporate speak regarding removing nearly 2,000 people from their jobs, Spencer says the layoffs were about "alignment of our teams across ZeniMax, Activision and Xbox. So we have teams that are in charge of physical retail, inclusive of selling games in physical outlets. So that's what the team action was. It wasn't about us getting rid of the capability."

Miss anything from last week's Xbox Podcast? You can get all the details at that link.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.