The japanese version of Xbox.com put online a few days a ago a very interesting interview of Peter Moore about the Xbox in Japan, XNA and Xbox 2. Here it is in full english version.
――Please share your thoughts regarding last year’s Xbox sales and the Japanese market.
Peter: It is common knowledge that last year’s video gaming market saw a decline not only for us, but for Sony and Nintendo as well. As the strategy we are employing facing Japan is a long-term one, we will not let things remain as they are, but will take measures towards recovering from here on out. To start towards that end, six to nine months from now we will announce more concrete plans into which we plan to pour our strength. From our briefing, things mentioned like video chat and Xbox Live Arcade will for example contribute as but one part of said plans. So what we’re talking about is not an outlook where we think week by week, but instead a vision that spans ten years ahead.
――Yesterday, policies considering future connections with Hollywood and other forms of medias were much talked about, but exactly what sort of concrete development exists?
Peter: To answer that, I think I should first bring up Halo 2. In terms of entertainment based on games, I think synthesizing is the key. The Halo series not only stands as a game commodity, but has also inspired novels that further develop its story, action figurines and so on. In addition to that, hundreds of websites based on Halo have been created. Of exceptional mention is a site called Red vs Blue, though I wonder if the Japanese media has picked that one up.
――No, as of up until now, it has not been specially introduced.
Peter: It’s a site drawn up by fans of the game, where by timing their own voice acting to recorded in-game scenes, they are steadily building their own story onwards after the conquest of Halo. It’s really quite interesting.
――That’s quite amazing. One wonders if problems regarding copyrights and such would arise.
Peter: We're giving them our permission. In fact, we at Microsoft are even supporting them. Furthermore, we’ve invited them to join xbox.com, and they’ve become such a social phenomenon that they’ve even been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Thus, I think that as far as going beyond games goes, Halo is an excellent example.
――Regarding Japan, preparations for killer content is an immediate imperative. So it is said, but what are your thoughts on that topic?
Peter: I cannot give any specifics, but we plan to divulge something six to nine months from now. Currently there exists a Microsoft Game Studio Japan development team, creating fantastic titles such as Magatama and Phantom Dust. The plan is to carry on along these lines in the future.
――Tell us, if you would, about the Xbox2.
Peter: It is, quite simply, an awesome machine. I cannot give any details, but we we’re striving to take Xbox LIVE! as up to the task as possible in terms of content and community. As for added capabilities, well, even if you added a phone to a toaster, there wouldn’t be much use for it, would there? We want, above all, to make the Xbox2 as fantastic a gaming machine as it can conceivably be.
――Last question, tell us about developer reactions to XNA.
Peter: We’re getting really good responses. Game development up until now has called for a colossal amount of time and money. The pursuit to economize that spending is being regarded extremely favorably.