During E3 we (along with several other community sites) were invited to sit down with eight Microsoft executives and discuss what was going on with Microsoft and their gaming platforms. Over the next several days we’ll be bringing you the rest of those interviews (it takes a while to transcribe them and the audio is a bit jumbled).
Our first interview was with Peter Moore, the former head of Microsoft’s gaming division. Given the news today I thought it was appropriate to stay up late and get this interview transcribed. Meeting Mr. Moore was one of the highlights of E3 for me this year and I have to say that the entire experience was a bit nerve wracking. Between the speed of the interviews (we only got four minutes with each executive) and the collective mojo of those assembled it was a little crazy.
Last year you talked about the Wii60 as a strategy, given the success that Nintendo has had over the last year is that still a valid strategy?
Well I’m not sure that’s a strategy, I’m not sure I can do anything about it. Certainly I think it’s more of a commentary about what I saw when I saw the price point of the PlayStation 3 and it was a statement that I said I believed a number of gamers would buy both a Wii and a Xbox 360. A strategy would imply that I’m doing something about that and I’m not doing anything about that.
Do you feel the warranty issue has hurt consumer’s perception of the Xbox 360 and how do you repair that trust?
Certainly we stand by our product and what everything I’ve read from the community has actually helped us in the last 72 hours/four to five days I think we are actually seeing people jump on the bandwagon so I’m not too worried about that.
(click the more button for the rest of the interview)
Of all the titles coming out this year,if we had to hold a gun to your head, which game are you looking forward to the most?
Obviously, Halo 3 but also Mass Effect. I have something of great affection for the guys at Bioware and that would be the one game, once we get past Halo 3,that I’m looking forward to the most.
Have you had a chance to read the [Mass Effect] novel yet?
No, I wish I had a chance to do that kind of stuff.
You’ve obviously had a long history in the gaming world; of all the games you’ve ever played what game has surprised you the most in terms of something that you didn’t think you were going to like but actually liked?
That’s probably something as simple as Crazy Taxi. I don’t know if you remember Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast . That’s a game that we were watching in development back in Japan and I couldn’t quite grok what the gameplay was. Once we got into it, it was a game that I spent hours playing. The one thing I can get it the soundtrack out of my head. If you’ve ever played the game it had everything from Bad Religion to The Offspring. But probably Crazy Taxi.
Over the next 10 years where do you see the next technological jump coming?
Well I think we’re already pushing the boundaries of graphics already and I think the connected state, building these massive communities. Xbox Live has seven million users and I think we are starting to see people connected through Xbox Live maybe reaching 30-40 million strong over the next decade or so and coming together in ways we’ve never dreamt of. The connected state of the community is going to be something that I think we are going to be able to take advantage of very fully.
What do you think are the biggest hurdles in the industry right now in terms of being accepted by the mainstream?
Well I think we still have a reliance on classic standbys and we’re as guilty as anybody with shooters. I look at us and we’re touting Halo 3 and of course Sony is touting Killzone , and then Nintendo comes out with a gun. So I think at times we are our own worst enemy. However it’s the nature of who we are and we are a mature consumer who wants to play mature experiences and that’s what we are delivering and they really sell well.
It’s something I still think is an issue for us to get over but all three platforms are doing a great job with actually being able to drive a more mainstream approach. The Scene It announcement is something we are excited about and the U-control is something exciting but I think we are able to have a real clear platform to build on.
If you could bring one other franchise over to the Xbox 360 which franchise would it be?
I’m always asked that question and my answer is always Mario. The ability to get somebody as broad of a popular culture icon as Mario is something that I would really relish.