Xbox physical games are not being abandoned, says Phil Spencer

Xbox physical games

A few weeks ago tons of rumors spread around Microsoft and their Xbox division, ranging from Xbox physical games being dropped to going full third-party and exiting hardware altogether.

Microsoft has since confirmed a handful of older and/or smaller Xbox-exclusives are going multiplatform, and they’re already working on a newer and more powerful Xbox console.

The last elephant in the room remained: will Xbox physical games be dropped? Numerous rumors and even reports of retailers dropping physical Xbox games, specifically, led many to think it was inevitable.

A recent interview with Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed the company isn’t abandoning physical games media, in fact – they’re supportive of physical media and aren’t looking at dropping them as a strategy.

“We are supportive of physical media, but we don’t have a need to drive that disproportionate to customer demand,” Spencer said to Game File.

He added, “We ship games physically and digitally, and we’re really just following what the customers are doing. 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 would not comment on the leaked Xbox refresh consoles, codenamed “Brooklin” and “Ellewood” for Xbox Series X and S (respectively), both of which are reportedly digital-only. He teased that Microsoft would “follow what customers are doing.”

The Xbox boss noted Microsoft has already released a digital-only console, the Xbox Series S, while also showing concern over the overall growth and revenue of the industry.

“Gaming consoles themselves have kind of become the last consumer electronic device that has a drive,” he said. “And this is a real issue, just in terms of the number of manufacturers that are actually building drives and the cost associated with those. And when you think about cogs that we’re going to go put in a console-and as you have fewer suppliers and fewer buyers-the cost of the drive does have an impact.”

Lastly, Spencer reaffirmed once again that Microsoft and Xbox are still committed to physical games as a media, and aren’t dropping that any time soon.

“I will say our strategy does not hinge on people moving all-digital,” Spencer said. “And getting rid of physical, that’s not a strategic thing for us.”

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry.

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