TGS05: Peter Moore interview
Last week during the Tokyo Games Show, me Rob of msxbox-world.com and Hannes from livegamers.info were invited for a 45 minutes interview with Peter Moore. Here is the full transcript, done by Rob. Many thanks to him for his time !
First question, an easy question; Can you please explain to our readers your role at Microsoft?
(smiles) That might not be as easy as you think! So my title is corporate vice president of worldwide marketing/publishing. I’m responsible for six distinctive businesses. So Microsoft Game Studios reports to me so all first party games development, Rare, Bungie etc. Third party relations, so the relationship with EA, Activision, Ubisoft etc, so third party relations reports to me. Worldwide marketing; I’m the head of world wide marketing as well so all marketing of the platform reports to me. PR, Michael’s organisation reports to me. We keep PR separately because so much of what we do in PR is only marketing or interpret corporate only. Japan, I am responsible for Japan as a stand alone business for home and entertainment and the general manager Oyama San reports directly to me. And then an interesting little business that were looking at called new media franchise development senior executive Kevin Brown reports to me; and that’s about how do we leverage Halo into movie space. How do we build our licence business of our intellectual property, strategy guides, action figures. And then in the future how do we look at advertising as part of the games and Xbox Live or what have you. So futuristic views on what we think the business is going to look like a year from now 2 years from now 3 years from now. So in nutshell- head of worldwide marketing and publishing.
In your opinion what does Microsoft need to do to be successful in Japan?
Well, I think that you know, we’ve been through a tough period here and we’ve learnt a lot of lessons. The simple lessons were to get the industrial design right, get the games right, get the marketing right and perhaps most importantly build a relationship that is deep and sustaining with the publishers here. I think we’ve done that in fact I know we’ve done that. The ability now for us to say that every major publisher is developing for Xbox 360 it’s for me most certainly a very proud moment and certainly the team here in Japan should be very proud. If you’d have said two years ago that people like Square Enix would be stood shoulder to shoulder with us, Capcom, Namco, Konami, Bandai, Sega would all be developing multiple titles. I think people would have scoffed. And I think that our ability to have a team on the ground that’s been able to build our relationships and build what we call this global ecosystem. All of the companies I have mentioned are already making very good money on Xbox- maybe not necessarily here in Japan but certainly around the world and they take a global view not just a domestic Japanese view about the business, so its important that were successful here in Japan. I want them to be able to walk out of their front door or down the street to Akihabara and see Xbox as a powerful competitor challenging hard in this business and that’s what were going to be. If you were in the press conference yesterday and Robbie’s keynote today or on the show floor, I think you sense a real optimism despite the scepticism that people have that an American company coming over here doesn’t do Hardware, not really into entertainment, all the things that people say will never be successful; but when you look at what we’ve done in two and a half years short years, its pretty proud for us. Today and Yesterday walking on the booth this afternoon as I said I did some TV . And I actually couldn’t get on the booth! Two years ago you could roll a bowling ball down there and not hit anybody. I had to come around the side and go in the lifestyle area there on the couch and do a TV interview because I could not get through the booth. So very proud where we are at today.
After the failure of Xbox in Japan, how did you manage to get all the big Japanese developers to work on Xbox 360? Where they immediately convinced by Xbox 360’s future there?
Well it’s been a lot of work and it’s been work on focusing on what the future of gaming will be and quite frankly there’s been a lot of discussion about online and what online will mean in the future. But showing a commitment to the Japanese market I personally have spent a lot of time here over the last couple of years. we have a team in place right now that is very talented and very experienced. Maruyama San came from Square Enix where he was head of the US operation. We had some tough conversations, but innovative marketing plans, a real vision for the future. As a company Microsoft’s great at sharing. What we do is build platforms and the windows platform was built. There are 1000’s of companies that make billions of dollars because they sit on top of the windows platform. This is a platform (points at 360 console) this is a combination of very powerful hardware, incredible software and the ability if you have done the digital entertainment demo; I mean great games obviously but the software that allows you to turn this thing into a digital entertainment amplifier in your living room is probably only something a company like Microsoft could afford to put the resources in top make it work. And then Xbox Live, you would be amazed how that changed the perception for many of the publishers here who saw the future ultimately in online; and saw it as a way to innovate in the game experience. I think looked at our competitors and realised they really didn’t have a strategy. They primarily went game by game. Nintendo clearly didn’t focus on online at all and I think Xbox Live has been a tremendous help to us in convincing publishers that the future of gaming ultimately goes online. I mean you couldn’t dream of your computer not connecting to the internet but 10 years ago computers didn’t and we all feel so comfortable now. I think 3 or 4 years from now it will feel second nature “of course my console connects I’m always connected, my friends need to connect with me my friends need to leave me messages I need to play with them” That will be second nature!
Why the choice of only one system in Japan? Don’t you feel that the gamers in Europe and America will feel cheated especially with regards to the pricing?
Is 299 euros a good price, 209 pounds a good price is 299 dollars a good price. I’m not worried about what some guy in Osaka can buy something for that is in a currency that he’s have never seen before in his life or doesn’t understand the sales tax or value added tax. Believe me it all balances out. I don’t think they are going to feel cheated; our concept very much was look, lets start with the Xbox 360 system; wireless controller, HD AV pack, 20 GB HD, Seamless connection to internet Xbox Live, headset you get a ton of stuff for $399 a ton of stuff for £279. And people should look at that and say “is this good value for money” and then go test drive this thing; it controls my digital camera it connect to my PC my iPod or my MP3 player or my windows media centre edition PC it opens up the entire living room for me and I’m not worrying about what someone else is going to get. As you find in any industry products are priced in their local market depending on what the supply and demand situation is. I haven’t got the calculations 106 yen to the dollar what 37800 yen is and I’m sure the boards have got their calculators out done their maths; there’s uproar! If they want to play in the foreign exchange game business and put some takes on…fine. We priced according to the local market and built a SKU platform for the market. Remember Maruyama San said, a week after launch who knows we might have the core system as well. Japan is focused on having a hard drive because there is uniqueness about this market, particularly the MMORPGS that we feel having a HD at the beginning is going to be important. Final Fantasy XI will come out at launch and in the Beta form as we announced and you know, the utilisation of the HD is important there is common data that you need when playing an RPG of that complexity they shouldn’t worry. I know people get excited and agitated by these things but they shouldn’t worry. They should focus on “is this good value?” Is this what I want under the tree this Christmas?
Will there more than 7 games for the launch day in Europe and US? Will any game be “exclusive” for one region’s launch?
Maruyama san announced yesterday was what we know at this point, that number could grow. Were coming in hot like any console launch the software is coming in hot. The games were still polishing and developers have all got their final hardware now it’s a race to the finish. The bigger number is we believe that 25 to 40 games will be available by the end of the year. So people fixate on what is available day one I’ve never seen anyone walk in and buy them all on day one. Whats more important to me is there is a reason every week to keep coming back and look at stuff if you didn’t buy it the first week. I look at some console launches and I look at the launch line ups and I’m surprised that they even sold one. The guys at Sony will tell you the PS2 launch line-up was just terrible. Fantavision firework simulator was a premium game, seemed to do ok. My focus more on, is, do I have the right genres covered do I have my sports games do I have Fifa in Europe do I have Madden in US. Do I have my fighting game theres DOA 4 Do I have my racing game PGR3, Need for Speed. What have I got for action adventure, Elder Scrolls will be an RPG very early in the life cycle. People shouldn’t fixate too much on what is going to be available on day one. They should look at the launch window and the information of what is going to be available in the first couple of months. So, I’m Very comfortable with that. More than 25 less than 40.
Do you think the consumers will understand the choice between the core system and the full system? Do you think it has been a gamble to use this marketing approach?
I don’t think it’s a gamble at all. First of all retailers have known about this for a long time, developers have known about it for years that there was a chance that there would be a SKU that didn’t have a HD. They’ve been told to develop as if there was not a HD and that’s what they’ve done. And then People get all in a “tizzy” that detracts somehow from the game experience when really they do not understand the core technologies that are behind what we do. When you see the packaging it will be very clear; I think you may have seen already some of the packaging there. There will be completely different coloured boxes. Retail goes through training programs to explain to the consumer “this is what this has got, this is what that has got”. The core system is no different, other than the Xbox, no different than any other console that has ever been shipped; it actually has got more stuff in it. If you want to save your game you’ve got to buy a memory unit (raises arms); that’s the case with everything except the Xbox. You might want to go and buy a hard drive fact of the matter is, it slips right in it slips out. It’s not like you have to unscrew this thing (points to Xbox 360) and do some electrical wiring. I’d say the overwhelming majority of consumers are going to buy the premium version anyway in the early going. But its very important to us for the guy that price is an issue. Europe, price is a big deal in the countries where we need to make an impact, France, Spain, Italy; price is a really big deal and the ability for us to be able to offer something at 299 Euros at launch was very important to us. Some people just don’t need to save their game I mean a minority but there are some people who just don’t need that.
Why isn’t the launch the same day for all territories? A lot of gamers in Europe are angry about the fact that the US always get stuff first especially software. Will there be any changes in the future?
So Europe is what, ten days behind? How do you know you won’t get your software on the same day?
Looking at the track record.
So normally Europe gets its stuff what, 6 months, 8 months, 9 months later? Ten days! Here’s the thinking behind where were at. It is one of the most incredible logistical exercises to get first of all there is a very good reason why this has never been done before because its very hard. You’ve got to get all your systems software nailed down, localised and ready to go and start manufacturing. Then you’ve got to get all of your games finalised, localised for all of the local markets and ready to go. We’re shipping in 16 countries alone in Europe. Then what we have to figure out what is the optimal time in each market where we need to be in market. US has an earlier shopping, season there’s a thing called thanksgiving in the US which signifies that Christmas is coming; its mayhem. It’s a four day weekend; thanksgiving is always the last Thursday in November. Friday is called “Black Friday” because theoretically this is when retailers are starting to make a profit. It’s a huge shopping day and if we miss thanksgiving then we may as well start the next year because phenomenal amounts of money are spent and the big gifts for Christmas are bought that weekend typically.
Then you look at Europe and its a little later as there is no thanksgiving there; so I look at the trends for the last few years and it really starts to ramp first week of December. So we nail the US and were there and we get the stuff done there then we turn our attention to Europe because we have a few days leeway. Then eventually here in Japan the phenomena is Christmas bonus, where salaried employees get a Christmas bonus that is typically paid the 3rd weekend of the Christmas season; in time for Christmas and we need to be in market to take advantage of that.
How long did you (Europe) have to wait for PSP?
A long time!
So 10 days I am sure the boards are all up in arms that they are waiting 10 days for their xbox and the Yanks got it early again; believe me it takes an aweful lot. Were about to do something no-one has ever done before. So if they are a glass half full bunch which they sound like they are I’m sure they will get over it as soon as they get that (xbox 360) in there hands they will soon forget about the 10 days they had to wait verses the US!
I think it’s just a matter of people starting earlier on Xbox Live games. People really want to start games at the same time.
Oh, I know, we were 48 hours behind on Halo 2 and it was a conspiracy theory that the yanks were having 48 hours head start on Halo 2 (laughter) you know what 2 months later then it doesn’t really matter if you have a 48 hour head start. How many 747’s can we get because there are no boats involved here this is all major aircraft? How do we flow our production, how do we get it around the world, what’s our airfreight cargo, all of our distribution methodology. I can’t ship to the UK alone I can’t ship to France alone I’ve got to be in all of the countries we need to do. So tell them to give us a break we need a few days to be able to go from one launch to another as well and were pulling off what nobody’s ever pulled off before!
What is your sales goal on Xbox 360 for all 3 territories?
(Interrupts) A lot!
What market share would you realistically like to have?
We have strong sales goals, I’m not going to share those with you we have market share goals I’m not going to share those with you either. Suffice to say this is a scale business and it’s a business that we need to be phenomenally successful in to scale towards profitability. And as successful as the Xbox has been its still not scaling to where you need to be. We talk about it being a razors and blades business, you know Gillette, BIC, Wilkinson and Sword they don’t make money on the razors they make money on the blades. Hardware is typically in the early going, subsidised. Despite the complaining that it might be too expensive it’s costing us more than it’s costing them. Then of course the business model is that you sell lots of games and then everybody is happy. The bottom line is that profitability has to be a goal here for us. The goals that we have for market share and actual units shipped clearly this is something we’re not going to share, but they are very aggressive; this is a scaled business and you reach a certain point and things start to turning over very well for you. Software attach rate is a magic number, how many games you sell per console. Growing our Xbox Live leadership position is very important.
Why haven’t more details about the games been available sooner than this? We still haven’t seen much if anything from Perfect Dark Zero for example. We even could say that we know more about PS3 games that will be released in months if not years, than about games to be released in just a few weeks? Why the secrecy?
So there’s two things there; tell me one PS3 game that you know about release, what its game play is? There isn’t! Anybody? The videos are good. Perfect Dark Zero we have a complete focus on X05 you are going to see it there and we felt it was important that we unveiled Joanna, figuratively speaking, in Europe and allowed you to get your hands on it there. Perfect Dark will be a popular game here but this is not the right place to show Joanna Dark and the evil minds behind the DataDyne Corporation, the heroes of the Carrington institute this is not the place to do it. Wait until Amsterdam I think you’ll be blown away. Good things come to all who wait!
What will Microsoft do to help with the marketing of HDTVs in Europe? Any type of bundle planned with Samsung for example?
There’s a lot of innovative things that were planning with Samsung; so when we think about what were doing right now although we can’t link Samsung directly to our World Cup plans because they are not FIFA sponsored. I really believe that the World Cup in Europe is going to be one of those moments that really tips the balance. I’m old enough to remember my dad buying a colour TV for the ‘74 World Cup and prior to that we all watched black and white TV’s in England there was no reason to buy colour. And guys my age said that the fact that Brazil played in a light shirt and then England in a white against them on a black and white TV it was very difficult to see who was who (smiles) and stupid things like that. Many people will tell you that the colour TVs that flip over from black and white to colour was caused by the World Cup! I read about a month ago that the German broadcasting authority plans for 32 cameras per game in high definition. It will be magnificent and some of the later qualifying games are going to be in high def. So I think the World Cup will be that seminal moment where you’ll go into a pub (bar) maybe as the draw is made in December. I’m thinking that maybe some of the later games this year might be broadcasting in high def; it will probably start off in pubs (bars) and places that will buy high def TV and you’ll go in there and say “Holy Sh**!”. I’ll never forget seeing it at CES 2 years ago and sports relief, walking past LG’s booth and seeing ice hockey and I’m not a hockey fan, but standing there for ten minutes with my jaw on my chest watching New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins because I could see the ice, the mist of ice as guys skating, just unbelievable. So we are working all around the world with Samsung. The interesting thing is our industry and this device (points at 360 console) is bringing high definition experiences this year well ahead of where broadcast television typically is. Interestingly in the US right now you go into a Best Buy and they’ve moved their Xbox interactive into the TV section so that people can see games like Halo 2 that actually show off what it looks like on a high definition monitor, because already were starting to support some 720p in the current generation. So the ability for us to be able to have games that must have 720p, must have 16:9 aspect ratio, must show in 5.1 surround sound, very important. We think we’ll be a major catalyst for that very interesting demographic the 18 to 34 year old male, who just got to have that thing hanging on the wall, they’ve got the money but this (points at 360 console) is what drives and yes sports as well but its going to be later with broadcast but then again were going to be in the market many many years with this thing. Its what is known as future proofing, we may be ahead of our time right now. It reminds me of Xbox Live where everyone said “what do you mean you are not offering a dial up modem, no-body connects with broadband” well that’s a conversation that happened only a few years ago and now of course everybody connects with Broadband. If you have a standard 4:3 standard definition curved TV in a few years from now it will look very primitive.
How much of an impact do you think PSP will have on sales this holiday season?
I think PSP will do well, I think it grows the market, I don’t think its stealing money that’s put aside for that (points at the 360). I think there is room for innovation in every market , I’m sure retailers are loving the fact that they will have hot products not only the PSP but the iPod nano, I mean there’s a lot of cool stuff that’s going to be available and that’s good for retail business. I like to think that we’ve got a lot of products that are going to drive a tremendous amount of traffic into stores and I like to think that the PSP is going to continue to be successful in Europe for example; that’s going to help us because people are coming in. Likewise people are going to be lining on the sidewalks the night of December 1st and who knows might pick up a PSP as well. I don’t think it’s an either or choice by any means.
Having a hard drive for games saves and music was a unique feature of the Xbox, however core package seems to be a complete U-turn on this. Whilst having a lower price-point may prove an effective strategy what was the reasoning behind forcing core owners to purchase a memory card rather than including it with the console?
The interesting thing is, put Xbox aside every console requires you to buy a memory unit if you want to save games. It’s like we have invented fire here by making you go out and while I understood the questions I didn’t understand the angst everybody seemed to have over the whole thing. It really is in Europe in particular we felt that 299 Euros was a very important price point, remember we shipped at 479 Euros a number of years ago with the Xbox now you have a choice at 299 and if you want to buy a memory unit then that’s at say 340 but that’s your choice. You would be amazed at how many people don’t save games. You guys are hardcore gamers (smiles) you’d be amazed at how many people don’t think they need to save the game. But if you do go and buy a memory unit or you want a better experience then go buy a hard drive. Hard Drive will be right there and if you feel that big about it then say to yourself all the things I know I can do is it worth 399 Euros or is it worth £279 or $399; everybody says yes, when you lay it out and understand it they all say “yes”. Our goal is to provide choice, in particular we need to be more successful in Europe and providing an option to buy in at 299 at launch and of course over a period of time that price continues to go down is something we felt was important. In the early going a huge majority are going to buy the premium package. The core system is there for people who want that opportunity. Giving people more choice always felt like a plus to me and not a negative but I guess no good deed goes unpunished (smiles).
Providing next gen gaming to consumers first seems to be a prominent part of the 360 marketing. Do you think Sony will use this period prior to launching PS3 to outperform the 360 in terms of system specs and perhaps even launch titles?
Well, system specs have been announced, everybody that is a lot smarter than me technically both inside at Microsoft but the analyst community around the world have looked at them and gone (gestures) well they are better there and they are better there and the bottom line is we have two great powerful machines. There is no huge advantage that either device has over the other. They are both very powerful next generation machines, the biggest difference is we’re ready to go, were here and now. I don’t know how they can do anything with launch titles when there are no titles I don’t quite understand that, I think that they’ll continue to show what is known as target videos; I haven’t been in their booth I haven’t got an invite for some reason. I’m sure they are showing a bunch of videos for games that are proposed to be in the future and that’s there prerogative they are potentially a long way from launching. What you should do is walk over to the Xbox 360 booth, grab a controller and play some games. You be the judge. I think the consumer will always be the judge here. Certainly I think there’s a lot spoken about the first mover advantage. I actually don’t worry too much about the first mover advantage; I do worry about the second mover disadvantage because we’ve been there, done that and didn’t like it. If we felt that they really would have a huge processing advantage then there would be a little more concern. From there publicly stated specs, were both driving Ferraris here!
PS3 will have blu-ray, Revolution will have a brand new controller concept, so both these systems will certainly get some exclusive titles thanks to their hardware difference. What do you think is the main point for getting new developers on board Xbox 360?
I’m not quite sure why having blue ray will get you exclusive development, its just storage, it doesn’t enhance the gaming experience. When it finally exists and assuming HD DVD and they don’t go at it for a couple of years like the format wars Betamax and VHS. Our focus is on what is ready here and now, DVD-9 is here we feel all of the games that are in development right now all of the developers are very comfortable with the DVD format. It’s not out strategy to wait for things to potentially happen. Sony has a vested interest obviously in Blue Ray. When you look at what we think theoretical costs of the drives could be what the cost of the medium will be verses the benefits down the road a year from now 2years from now 3 years from now. I think 3 years from now with 20-40 million units of these things and we’ll feel very comfortable of where were at. That’s not to say that down the road there is not that flexibility to do things to take advantage of new medium and what have you; but I don’t worry about our ability to compete with whatever Sony throws at us whenever they decide when they are going to launch. I welcome Nintendo’s innovation, it’s risky we shall see. I’d give you a better opinion if I could see it actually work with a game. I saw people pointing at the camera. You have to admire a company that willing to take a risk like that and if it truly does grow the business then I think we all benefit.
Europe is such a fragmented region yet still classed as one. From a marketing point of view how hard is it to cater for such a diverse market place?
It is difficult, it’s fragmented, the French are very different from the Germans who are very different than the Dutch who are very different than the Brits. But there is a European mentality I think we could certainly have a pan European marketing campaign that has a similar theme. We’ve always encouraged a certain amount of localisation for local tastes in the market place. The interesting thing is that the product is pretty similar PGR sells, well everybody likes to drive fast cars. Halo 2 sells great everybody likes to shoot aliens. Perfect Dark Zero will be spectacular because everybody likes to go online and have a frag fest and play for hours with all of their friends. From a marketing point of view were very sensitive to local tastes but were developing the campaign which is just about finalised now. We’ve done a ton of market research in Europe in every major country that I think will really resonate well with the gamer and that will start to show up later next month you’ll see that TV what have you.
The Xbox was Microsoft’s entry level into the console market-place and has done well to establish a firm user base. Would you say your job has become easier or harder in respect to this?
I think it becomes harder because the expectations get higher. When you look at what the sceptics said when the Xbox was announced that video games is about two consoles and here’s three consoles going into 2 console race. Microsoft doesn’t get it, there’s no way that powerhouses Sony and Nintendo will even feel the impact of what Xbox can do and yet we sit here today and I firmly think that in most places in the World were a firm number two and that we’ve won the hearts and minds of the people which we care about which are the hardcore gamers its very important to us and nobody says we don’t get it. People love what we’ve done whether it’s Halo, Fable, Jade Empire, Forza, PGR. The IP that we’ve developed over a short few years ; helping people bring things out, Ubisoft Splinter Cell to market, Knights of the Old republic. Content that firmly arrived on the Xbox, Doom 3, we have provided the power for these people to bring their dreams to life from a development point of view. So no, it probably makes it harder because the expectations have now become higher, for success in the next generation. Its no different than you get through the early rounds in a cup competition and all of a sudden as you get closer to the semi finals and finals the tension mounts and the stakes are higher; so from a point of view of expectation then a lot of people expect us to win. Our job is to put ourselves in a position to win. Build that platform and make it work.
The core package is about giving the user a chance to expand the console if needed. Considering the price difference between the 2 packages, many gamers are opting for the premium package regardless. Do you have any projections on the percentage of sales for the core and premium packages?
I think the overwhelming majority, particularly in the early months will opt for the premium package and while there will be core systems and they’ll all be gone we think that will be in the minority. Over a period of time that may balance itself out or it might flip flop but we think certainly that it’s based on forget core verses premium and look at what you get for the price and then make that decision accordingly.
Will Microsoft be offering financial support to developers creating new concepts or franchises on Xbox 360?
We have always prided ourselves on the ability to support development, things that are platform driving, innovative any developer that has developed on our platform will tell you we offer anything from a huge amount of technical support to co-development co-marketing funds to help them bring their products to life. It’s been part of our success it’s what we do. Microsoft in its DNA builds a platform and says to developers come and put applications on top of this platform and make a lot of money. Games are the same, we build this thing (xbox 360) we build the platform and you know we say to our partners, come on make games for this thing and make a lot of money. Talk to any publisher or developer we have programs in place all of the world that support it.
It looks like Microsoft will publish or develop less game on Xbox 360 than on Xbox. Don’t you think it’s a big risk to be so highly dependant on 3rd party developers?
The early strategy for MGS was quite frankly based on the theory that we might not get publisher support and that we might have to carry more of the burden on our own shoulders to be successful. Over the last few years our strategy has morphed more into, yeah you are right we’ll probably make less games, but boy will they be bigger and so you’ve got the theory if you will without being disrespectful from years ago; you are throwing mud up against a wall and only some of it is sticks and some of it slides off. The strategy is much more refined much more sophisticated, much more mature now as regards to MGS in which we look at genres where we can really redefine what the experience is. We don’t do sports any more, EA, Take 2, Konami do an excellent job and investing in competing with our partners didn’t make a lot of sense. I’d rather put the money behind Bungie or put the money behind Rare to do innovative new stuff and that is what were doing. Our goal as a first party is to create platform defining content and third parties if they take a bigger share of a growing market god bless them! We believe that we’ll have a much larger majority of share on our box than Sony’s first party which typically fluctuates between 10% and 12% .in other words 90 or 88% of their games were done by 3rd party. I think we’ll be a little higher than that in fact I know we’ll be higher than that but I’m very comfortable with that. if for some reasons I thought our relations with publishers was tentative or rocky then I might be a little worried. The relationships are great!
We know that the Xbox 360 name refers to putting the player at the centre of the console. Can you clarify the reasoning behind simply not calling the console Xbox 2? And how long did it take to finalize the name?
We spent a long time looking at a name that really thought would define the experience. Xbox 2 didn’t really define anything other than it was the sequel to the Xbox. And in particular when your competitors got PS3 in the market we didn’t think it was smart. So we went out and we did 4 months of global focus research we got down to about 5 names and then we went around the world and we talked to consumers here in Japan, every major country in Europe, Latin America, Thailand, Korea, China even countries that we aren’t doing business but we ultimately may be there in the future. Xbox 360, when it was explained to them it went off the charts. So yes it is an entertainment experience which revolves around you and when we announced the name as always there was 48 hours of (raises arms) uproar! No-body ever gives it a second thought anymore. It’s so natural; and when you see in context with the packaging, the rings of light it’s not a logo but it’s a feeling that we think that we give off, this bright and optimistic feeling. It’s been a long time since anybody asked me a question I mean when we first announced it at E3 time it was a subject of a lot of chat but now. Remember I’m the guy who launched a DreamCast (Laughs).
How effective is advertising at a sporting event? Will we see more of this in future and can you outline any new ways you are going to use to promote the 360 especially in the west?
If you can stand out, certainly our commitment were the official console of the world cup, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort now with the FIFA interactive world cup and building with our partners EA, we’ll continue to do that. When we look at sports the biggest will be football in Europe is how do you stand out from the crowd? But we recognise that sports whether that be football in Europe or American football, baseball in the US; we are doing a lot of work in making sure that were linked and culturally relevant. There’s a bunch of stuff that I’m not in a position to tell you right now but it will be tied to sports. I spent 8 years at Reebok as the head of worldwide sports marketing, so I know a thing about sports marketing as well. What you do not want to be is one of the hoardings around the pitch that is just there you’ve got to have innovative ways to stand out. We recognize the importance to our consumers what sports means to them and as such we will continue to look at that. The World Cup will be a big part of our marketing plans next year.
What’s your favourite current generation title and upcoming generation title?
So, current generation title I’ve lived in America a long time so I’ve played Madden right now which they continue to innovate even though they have the exclusive now on the NFL. Of all things the Incredible Hulk as well as that, I don’t know why it’s just one of those games you pop in and you start playing and I really like that. Next Generation I’ve been playing a ton of Kameo. I really fell in love with Kameo about a year ago and I spent a lot of time back and to with the team at Rare. I have a beta kit at home with Kameo on the Hard drive and I’ve just watched this game develop and develop and develop and get more beautiful, get deeper , get more fun. I’m very fortunate to have Kameo at home to play 7-8 hours if I need to. My 13 year old daughter more interestingly which is what I wanted to see just loves it! So Kameo, I haven’t been able to play a lot of PGR next gen but I’ll get my hands on that. I was in Liverpool a while back and went to see Bizarre and see where they are at with that. I’ve done a little bit of co-op on Perfect Dark which is very very cool you will see more of that at X05. 3rd Party titles I got to see King Kong in New York this weekend looks unbelievable, Call Of Duty 2 blows me away. Ghost Recon 3 looks great- what else without “dissing” anybody(laughs) once you start you’ve got to keep going! DOA 4 Itaki actually has an event this evening that I can’t get to but I think he will be showing DOA4. Mitzuguchi is one of my favourite people and 99 nights is going to be great. I’m not sure I could play that seeing as it’s not localised but that would be a title I’m getting very excited about!
itaintrite Is it free? (3 Hours ago)
GangstaNip This game called Driveclub is pretty dog gon good. (7 Hours ago)
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