A day in the life of Phil Spencer

It’s five a.m. and a visibly nervous Claptrap rumbles towards a slumbering Phil Spencer. Claptrap flashes his single, large-lensed eye, slowly. He hates waking Phil. But that’s his job. He pulls himself together and charges his speaker.

“Directive one: Protect humanity! Directive two: Obey Jack at all costs. Directive three: Dance!”

Phil groans, sleepily. “It’s obey Phil at all costs, Claptrap. Jack’s gone, man.”

Claptrap shuffles backwards as Phil throws off the covers and dangles his legs over the edge of the bed. His State of Decay t-shirt barely crumpled, the Xbox supremo reaches for his Windows Phone to check the day’s emails. Claptrap freezes, his lens downcast, his metal body radiating shame. “Phil,” he buzzes, “I think I might be needed for the new Borderlands game…”

“I know, Claptrap, I know,” Phil whispers sadly, giving the robot a comforting tap as he makes his way out of the room. “But not yet. Right now, I still need you. What’s up first?”

Steeled by his boss’s show of support, Claptrap turns to follow his master. “We’ve had some complaints that Major Nelson’s suits just haven’t been shiny enough recently, Phil. That needs your urgent attention. And you said you wanted to grab the very last Xbox 360 off the production line.”

Let’s do Larry first, Clappy,” says Phil, already immaculately turned out in jeans, open-necked shirt and pullover. “I’ll need coffee before I give Larry any sartorial advice, though. Cortana, Americano, please, then call Larry.”

The HoloLens surgically embedded in Phil’s eye springs to life, the glowing blue figure of the famous AI fading as, to Phil’s left, a panel slides open in the wall. Phil reaches in and takes his coffee (strong, spot of half n half, no sugar). In his eye, Cortana fades completely, only to be replaced with the image of a groggy community manager.

“Phil?” croaks Xbox Live’s Major Nelson, “do you know what time it is?”

Ignoring the question, Phil gets straight down to business. “Look, Larry, This Week on Xbox is great and all, but your jackets have been getting less shiny recently. Up the shine, man. It’s your brand.” Before Larry can respond, Phil ends the call.

“I love that guy,” he finishes his coffee, “but without the shine, I just don’t know… What else?”

“We’ve hit 160 titles in the Backwards Compatibility programme, with Rayman Origins out this week.”

Phil laughs, softly. “And they said it couldn’t be done.” He heads downstairs, his impeccably-shod feet making no sound in the impossibly thick carpet. “It’s cleaned every week,” he explains to Claptrap, bumping comically after him, stairs not being a friend to a wheeled robot, “with the tears of the entitled, whiny, gurning and desperate Call of Duty fans.”

Opening a door at the foot of the stairs, Phil steps out onto a gantry high above a huge clean room. Fifty feet below, hundreds of silent maestros are assembling Xbox Ones and Xbox 360s on two adjacent production lines.

Claptrap lets out an electronic whistle. “I had no idea this is where that door went.”

“Of course,” replies Phil, already half way down a polished ladder, effortlessly runging his way to the gloss-white floor. “I like to keep an eye on things.”

Striding majestically across the concourse with his robot butler watching from above, Phil reaches the Xbox 360 line just as the last flap closes on the box containing the last Xbox 360. “I have plans for this,” he says, grabbing the box from the hands of the startled engineer. “Okay, flip the switch on Xbox NeXt…”

Then he grins, widely. “Only kidding.”


We’d like to thank Phil for allowing our drone cameras to follow him around for the making of this documentary series. As promised, we haven’t mentioned that everyone who owns a Day One Xbox One will receive a complementary HoloLens, Phil. We know that’s our little secret.