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  1. #1
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    Microsoft on first party strategy, entering cloud gaming, and appealing to everyone

    more at the link.

    First Party Strategy:

    Q: It's nice to hear you say you've enjoyed some of the stuff from your competitors. Sometimes executives won't admit that.

    Phil Spencer: I don't know if Microsoft cares - I work for Microsoft after all - but I own a Vita, I own a Wii, I own a PS3, and I play a lot. At the core, I'm in this industry because of the content we create and the experiences. I think there are great experiences that come from all over. I don't try to claim that everything that is ever created is something that we touch, that would be somewhat ridiculous.

    Q: You mention Sony first-party, and they are sort of renowned for their studio system. You oversee the studios for Microsoft. I guess the knock on 360 is that you don't have as many first-party IP. It is a few select franchises in Halo, Forza and Fable. Gears of War is Xbox-exclusive but is Epic's IP. People say "how come Microsoft is not creating more IP or doing something to bolster the studio system?"

    Phil Spencer: So that is two separate questions. We have always been about trying to create hits that really push our platform and reach millions of people. I've never looked at our first-party mandate as trying to simply pump out content that only a few select people will go out and buy. If you look at our top franchises in our first-party, they do incredibly well relative to other first-party franchises. If you rank our top four franchises against the other franchises, our top 4 outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises or something like that. In the end, it's about creating something to scale and something that matters.

    I also look at the great third party support that we have and I don't need to go compete with Batman or Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed that shows up on our platform. It's great that we got Warner Bros, EA, Activision and Ubisoft making a lot of money on our platform and bringing great content. So we take our first-party and we try to do unique things. We focused early on Kinect with quite a few things because we knew that third-parties might have taken a 'wait-and-see' attitude. They actually didn't. There were more third-parties on stage this year with a lot of Kinect content this year.

    First-party is going to invest early in a lot of things. We actually have over 30 launch games on the Windows 8 tablets coming from first-party. Now we're starting to build on SmartGlass, and that thinking with a lot of connections between different screens, I think will pay off. I've never really looked at first-party as simply a portfolio filler strategy. I want to pick some things that will really differentiate, whether it is working with ESPN and Nike to create something new, or Sesame Street or making a great Halo game which we are right in the middle of being born. It's showing very well right now.
    Platform For Everyone:

    Q: What is your general reaction to your competitors this year? Nintendo was showing off the Wii U while Sony was showing Last of

    Us, Beyond, etc. What was your overall thinking on those two camps?

    Phil Spencer: I think, to not not answer your question, it is worth noting that there is another competitor that is not here that has a developer's conference next week (after E3).

    Q: Apple?

    Phil Spencer: Right, so if we think about where our ambition is, our ambition is to create an entertainment platform for everyone on the planet. We think there are a couple keys; having unique content on our platform. We started off with Halo, but we obviously have a breadth of content on our platform from big core games to things like the Nike fitness program that we showed, to things like Dance Central and our sports offerings. It's a real breadth of content on the platform. Live and the connected service is pretty key to what we do.

    The partnerships that we're able to drive I think are important. I'd like to point out Nike yet again; it's them talking about what we do as opposed to us talking about us. It's nice, really validating to have a worldwide brand like Nike come out and decide that this is the system that they want to go and innovate on and we can go and create something that is uniquely different.
    Cloud Gaming:

    Q: Looking toward the future, whether it is Xbox 360, Windows or whatever, it seems that the digital push and all those technologies are coming on strong. With cloud gaming and Smart TVs, it seems like you don't even need a console. Where does Microsoft fit into that world, if it happens? Does Microsoft just make the software to make games play on the TV, or do you guys embrace cloud gaming that will be specific to an Xbox console in the future?

    Phil Spencer: To be honest, I think it is at an incubation period. I think Gaikai is doing great work and I'm not downplaying what they've done, but it is not yet at global scale where you can promise someone that when they buy this TV and plug it into their own internet connection that they are going to get a reliable service that a normal, non-technical person would accept for playing all types of games. We're a scale company, we want to make a promise that we can actually reach everybody. Anybody can buy a Kinect, plug it in, and it will work. I think cloud is in the future, there is no doubt about that. And as a company, Microsoft has Azure; we have data centers, Office 365, Hotmail. There is no question about big data, large scale services that Microsoft has invested in.

    On our side, future of entertainment is the cloud. You see that with music and movies, and games will be that way as well. I think we are a ways away from everybody being able to play all the games that we are showing off on the floor of E3 via the cloud reliably. We're involved in the investigations and the experiments, but I don't think it's at scale yet. It will be, but it is not an 'if,' it's a 'when.'
    Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-on-the-planet
    "We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"
    --Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

  2. #2
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    Thats a nice PR speech and all but what I'm seeing is MS buying up more Kinect studios so sorry I'm just not convinced as a core gamer. MS seems to just want to play it safe by sticking with the same 3 or 4 core ips over and over again. I'm not ok with that.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 07-05-2012 at 06:28.

  3. #3
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    It doesn't bother me any if MS invest in Kinect devs, I'd prefer their developments are not Kinect only however, I see no issue using Kinect for Forza 4 or Halo CE Anniversary along with my controller and I'll look forward to using it in the new Splinter Cell too but MS do need new IP's.

    I do agree that MS invest in IP's whether first or third party that sell rather well and like he said better than many Sony IP's (going by the numbers this generation) but in saying that MS need more of those IP's!

    I commend Sony because of the quantity they push, sure there are those I have no interest in but it reaches a particular audience and I feel MS need to cater to more of those as Sony has even though we know they won't sell like Gears or Halo or Forza or even Fable.

    Personally I'm content but I know many are not and that should concern MS but I do not expect them to come out apologizing either in these articles.
    Gaming on all platforms right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A7MAD View Post
    It doesn't bother me any if MS invest in Kinect devs, I'd prefer their developments are not Kinect only however, I see no issue using Kinect for Forza 4 or Halo CE Anniversary along with my controller and I'll look forward to using it in the new Splinter Cell too but MS do need new IP's. I do agree that MS invest in IP's whether first or third party that sell rather well and like he said better than many Sony IP's (going by the numbers this generation) but in saying that MS need more of those IP's! I commend Sony because of the quantity they push, sure there are those I have no interest in but it reaches a particular audience and I feel MS need to cater to more of those as Sony has even though we know they won't sell like Gears or Halo or Forza or even Fable. Personally I'm content but I know many are not and that should concern MS but I do not expect them to come out apologizing either in these articles.
    Yeah I'm ok riding out the last bit of this gen with those ips but MS is going to have to really bring out some fresh first party ips (and the present ones) if they want my money again next generation. So far they show no indications that they will. Time will tell I guess. As for Sony I really like their first party strategy and their focus.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 07-05-2012 at 06:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radgamer420 View Post
    Yeah I'm ok riding out the last bit of this gen with those ips but MS is going to have to really bring out some fresh first party ips (and the present ones) if they want my money again next generation. So far they show no indications that they will. Time will tell I guess. As for Sony I really like their first party strategy and their focus.
    Couldn't agree more. hopefully the new consoles will give developers, and publishers in particular some lenience to take more risks with new IPs.

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  8. #6
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    Personally, I really love the exclusive lined up that Microsoft has from XBLA, Kinect to Retail. Combine that with the third party titles on the system, they get everyone of my gaming needs, and then some. More than ever in my gaming life. But, like A7MAD, I can appreciate that there are others out there that have different gaming tastes and would like to see some different IP's that appeal to them, added to the first party line up.

    For me at least, as long as they keep emptying my wallet, I am all good in the hood.

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