This week, Microsoft continues to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Xbox project. The streaming Premiere of “Xbox Pioneer: creativity and innovation – past, present and future” was recorded on November 9. This is a round table discussion between early Xbox designers.
Topics covered include anecdotes at the beginning of the project, insight into the motivation of some of the earliest decisions in Xbox history, and forecasts for the next development of the video game industry.
The seminar was chaired by retired Nintendo president Reggie fields Amy, who seemed as surprised as others. He chaired a group composed of Bonnie Ross, the current head of 343 industries, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and the only team member still working at Microsoft; Ed fries, a former vice president of Microsoft, was one of the first employees to sign up for the Xbox project; Robbie Bach retired from Microsoft in 2010 after leading Microsoft’s entertainment department for 10 years; Peter Moore served as vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division from 2003 to 2007, where he became famous among fans for Halo 2 tattoos.
Bach, Frith and Moore have been pursuing new projects since they took office at Microsoft. Bach recently wrote a novel, a political thriller Wilkes resurrection; Moore served as the CEO of Liverpool Football Club for three years before taking the current position of unity technologies; Fries is the co chairman of 1up ventures, a game focused venture capital company.
Continue to read the highlights of the 45 minute course.
About the first Xbox game: Ross’s first game on Xbox was the release of the title Fuzion French, which was also the first Xbox game to pass the certification test, and then the first game to complete the Xbox library.
About Xbox Live: Bach highlighted the original version of xbox live, which premiered in November 2002 and was one of the most creative decisions on the original platform. “Looking back on those early days, xbox live was very creative from a business point of view. People thought about paying $49 a year for subscriptions. Think about how many subscription services you had in 2002. Xbox is really trying to promote business model innovation,” Bach said
More about Xbox Live: the initial details of xbox live are difficult to determine, such as voice integration. “My memory is how crazy people think we are,” Bach said. He used Tom Clancy’s ghost scout as a title to make people realize the value of Xbox Live services.
About Ethernet port: fries said that a key decision for Xbox is to install a modem or Ethernet port inside it, because Microsoft can’t afford to install both functions in the final device at the same time. This decision finally fell on Bach. He forgot that he was the one who did it, but chose the Ethernet port because “the future is more meaningful than the past.”
About the 56K Modem: it is reported that when Bill Gates decided not to use the 56K modem in the Xbox, he said, “this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
In terms of brand: Moore’s influence is the reason why Xbox products do not highlight the Microsoft logo, because he chose to build a brand alone.
About halo and Xbox Live: Ross believes that the synergy between Halo 2 and its developer Bungie and the Xbox team has promoted the prominent position of xbox live on the Xbox platform.
About SEGA and Xbox: in Moore’s previous work at Sega in the United States, he was the executive of Dreamcast, Sega’s last game console, in 2001. Since Dreamcast’s operating system runs on Windows CE, SEGA and Microsoft have established a strong partnership. Sega is the first console manufacturer involved in online games. When the time came, Moore was able to skillfully connect Dreamcast and Xbox, especially when the first version of xbox live came on the market.
More about SEGA and Xbox: this in turn explains the original software lineup of Xbox I’ve always wanted to know. Although the Xbox is not popular in Japan (it is reported that it has sold only 450000 units in the Japanese market), somehow, the Xbox finally became the clearing house for Japan’s strange games, such as collapse, armored dragoon OTA, dead and alive extreme beach volleyball and phantom dust. Between ED Fries’ outreach attempt and Moore’s connection with SEGA and Japan, Xbox finally has several niche games that previously found their destination on Dreamcast. “When the dream radio disappeared into the sunset, the baton was passed to the Xbox,” Moore said
On diversity: “when you think of halo and other games in our portfolio,” Ross said, “it’s to ensure that you have a diverse world and a diverse set of characters.” in her words, it’s no longer the Xbox itself, but “meet them where the players are.” using Microsoft’s recently acquired studio, Let everyone get something.
“The game business can be said to be or will become the largest media business in the world.”
More about diversity: “the game business can be said to be or will be the largest media business in the world,” Frith said. “That means” player ” The word disappeared. In a sense, we are all gamers. Look at today’s mobile games, more than half of the mobile game players are women. But who makes the content? Unfortunately, this is only a small part of the game makers, which just needs to be changed. To create real content, it needs to come from women. As Bonnie said, they are like the audience 。”
About user generated content: development technology has developed to the point that, at least in theory, everyone in the game space can create their own content, if not their own game. Ross pointed out that halo’s forging mode, the uniforms made by Forza’s players and the whole space of minecraft are the space where user-defined content accounts for a large part of the overall experience.
More about the Creator: Moore is now the senior vice president of unity technologies and delivered a speech on the same day that unity acquired weta digital, the special effects company of Lord of the rings director Peter Jackson. “We believe there are already 2 billion creators,” he said. “We also believe that the world will enter real-time 3D,” taking sports broadcasting as an example.
On the future of content: Bach predicted that in the future, the boundaries between different entertainment industries such as music, film, game and television will be broken. “Music, video and TV live broadcasting, all together. I just think there are very cool opportunities for different types of content that we don’t even know how to classify.”
About AR and VR: “I think AR (better than VR) is more practical because it is a mixture of world and entertainment,” Ross said when talking about the theme of metaverse in fils Aime. “It brings everything together.”
More information about augmented reality and virtual reality: Bach saw the division of virtual reality / augmented reality space, the attempt to transition from bulky virtual reality helmets to “glass”, and the improvement of productivity (i.e. virtual reality training), which actually further entered the large and professional drilling platform, in which accuracy is very important.
About computer games: “I’ve been hearing for 30 years that computer games are dying,” Frith said. “No, it’s not dying. It’s growing.” both VR and AR have market space.
About the future entertainment experience: Moore and unity are studying how to break the world of live entertainment (“democratization of entertainment experience”) and open activities to remote participants using virtual and hybrid reality. “If you are lucky enough to win the lottery, buy a lottery, go somewhere… And then stand behind and look at the big screen, because you are not close enough to the stage, it feels out of date.”
About the meta universe: Bach asked Firth Amy about the social significance of the meta universe. In the meta universe, a person may have a completely different life in virtual reality. “This is where the AR experience is better socially,” fils aim é said. “Because you haven’t completely divorced from the real world experience. What I care about is an experience that keeps you away from your family, environment and all these things. My parents’ instincts also work, in terms of what I prefer to see my children do.”
More information about metaverse: fries just visited Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Washington, D.C., and recalled Roosevelt’s famous saying: “order without freedom is as destructive as freedom without order.” he pointed out that this should be borne in mind if metaverse was created. “They are still about people. When you get people, you need to keep a balance between the two things.”
On Ethics: “we have a responsibility as technology owners,” Ross said, considering ethical and social issues when building VR / AR space. “I think we are seeing it play out in front of us – what will happen if we don’t. I think this is our second chance.”
About Gates’ interrupted bridge game: when asked about his memory in Xbox, Moore told a story about how he had approved the downtime of several NT servers running Microsoft casual games. Unfortunately for him, this included the app gates often used to play online bridge with Warren Buffett, which led gates to make an embarrassing call to Moore.