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Opinion Game Dev How Xbox is still changing the games industry

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

I've never really seen Xbox as a nostalgic company.

PlayStation, from time-to-time, absolutely. And Nintendo almost constantly. But Xbox? It is pro-active in preserving its history, but it's never been one to revel in it. In all my years writing about Microsoft's games business, the conversation has always been about the next big disruptive idea, whether that's Xbox Live or Kinect or Game Pass or Cloud Streaming. I've rarely known Xbox to stand and stare.

So perhaps it was inevitable that our chat with Microsoft's Sarah Bond, which was set-up to discuss the 20th anniversary of Xbox, became mostly about what's to come, rather than what has been.

"We spend a lot of time making sure we've learned from our past," says Bond.

"A lot of what you see in terms of how we're pushing towards the future is because of the understanding we've gained over the last 20 years. That's a lot of where our player-centric and creator-centric approach has come from. It's not that we're looking back, but more building on where we've been.

"Game Pass came out of our deep commitment for players that we've built over the years. We've pioneered [online] multiplayer with Halo, and we realised how much people got out of playing together. And that is what got us thinking about cross-play, and building Game Pass to working across devices."

Check the link for more.
 

saintjules

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Dec 20, 2019
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If they keep having great responses/interactions like they did with FH5, then Game Pass can be something fruitful as we continue on in this generation. Maybe Halo Infinite will be one of the prime examples of GP working, with future exclusives being day and date to the service. With FH5, people bought the game early despite knowing it was coming to GP. There's some sort of strategy there that in that instance worked to receive some level of revenue prior to relase.

Other than that, it's good that they learned from their mistakes. I guess that's all that can be said. Game Pass is the gift that keeps on giving, but it can't let up, not after all the time they've spent building up this service to this point in time.
 
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Apr 22, 2021
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Xbox always been the most forward looking of the three brands...I think that has impart with it being an american company since we are far less caught up on tradition. It seems like every generation Xbox is trying to change something about the gaming industry be it xbox live, the drm with the Xbone or gamepass. Why they are my go to platform, I appreciate the change.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

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Apr 16, 2012
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Xbox always been the most forward looking of the three brands...I think that has impart with it being an american company since we are far less caught up on tradition. It seems like every generation Xbox is trying to change something about the gaming industry be it xbox live, the drm with the Xbone or gamepass. Why they are my go to platform, I appreciate the change.
Agreed, I enjoy someone/company having a go rather than more of the same. Just as I appreciate Sony with VR (not for me, don't like VR gaming really) the same goes for Nintendo with going 3D or Xbox pushing online and these days gamepass/crossplay. All good things.
 
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Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
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Is making a successful gaming platform really that hard?

Like im sure making the game and hardware, sorting manufacturing , online infrastructure all have there challenges.
But the broad higher up decisions are not difficult.

Its simply to make the best gaming hardware + services for a good price, have lots of good marketing and have lot of amazing exclusive and 3rd party games, if a company does these things I dont know how it could fail.
 
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waquzy

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Nov 10, 2020
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Is making a successful gaming platform really that hard?

Like im sure making the game and hardware, sorting manufacturing , online infrastructure all have there challenges.
But the broad higher up decisions are not difficult.

Its simply to make the best gaming hardware + services for a good price, have lots of good marketing and have lot of amazing exclusive and 3rd party games, if a company does these things I dont know how it could fail.
I wish Apple would come up with a console and join the big three. We need some new blood…
 

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
5,184
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Watch the documentary that’s coming. Seamus says making the Xbox almost killed him.

I hope it goes into what a person like Spencers or Ryans "day in the life" would involve.
I would imagine it would be a pretty traditional large business hierarchy, where they make the final call on things brought up by the heads of the various divisions.
 

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
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I wish Apple would come up with a console and join the big three. We need some new blood…

I think they could if they were willing to spend $billions.
The already have the hardware, there M1 max SoC is competitive with ps5 + xsx.
 
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NikuNashi

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Apr 12, 2013
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Xbox always been the most forward looking of the three brands...I think that has impart with it being an american company since we are far less caught up on tradition. It seems like every generation Xbox is trying to change something about the gaming industry be it xbox live, the drm with the Xbone or gamepass. Why they are my go to platform, I appreciate the change.
Have you held a dualsense? Xbox is the least forward thinking when it comes to hardware, Sony have developed VR and Haptics tech, what has MS done that is forward thinking?
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Xbox always been the most forward looking of the three brands...I think that has impart with it being an american company since we are far less caught up on tradition. It seems like every generation Xbox is trying to change something about the gaming industry be it xbox live, the drm with the Xbone or gamepass. Why they are my go to platform, I appreciate the change.
Aside from the handheld part of gaming, no doubt Xbox has been way more innovative with their consoles. Heck even go back to ancient Xbox OG and even something as ho-hum in modern day like a console having a big HDD and a dedicated online service making things standard are things the console makers at the time Sega, Sony and Nintendo never focused on. Even something like motion controls, which that fad ended fast for everyone, Wii and MOve were things you had to grip a plastic controller to work. Kinect was infrared. Dont get me wrong, most of those hand waving Kinect games were family fun trash, but you can see the difference in the 3.

The whole DRM and online only thing which was a big uproar in 2013 is now standard. Tons of games require an online connection to play. And some games wont even work unless a console is hooked up to download the latest patch. And digital sales are now about 70%, and gamers love it so much they even pay extra money for USB HDD for more external storage. And where's all the uproar now?

So much for all that anti-always online and disc sales rhetoric.... "digital sucks! discs are better because you can sell the game or trade it in, or lend to a friend". You havent seen any corporate BS or gamers spewing that stuff in over 5 years. And look at that, home sharing with a friend so everything is split 50/50 including digital games and all sub plans is a great feature. I do it and I'm sure many others do it too.
 
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Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
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Is making a successful gaming platform really that hard?

Like im sure making the game and hardware, sorting manufacturing , online infrastructure all have there challenges.
But the broad higher up decisions are not difficult.

Its simply to make the best gaming hardware + services for a good price, have lots of good marketing and have lot of amazing exclusive and 3rd party games, if a company does these things I dont know how it could fail.
Do you not remember how terrible the PS3 was for social and online at launch? And how long it took them to get kind of up to speed?

I'd say it's actually very difficult to try to pave the way for new gaming trends, and how difficult it can be for companies trending behind the line.
 
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nowhat

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Sep 18, 2017
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Times have changed though, they could easily come up with a new console and be competitive, especially now considering how much money they have!
They could, sure, but they already have "Apple Arcade" which helps boost iPhone sales (I guess for some at least, don't really get the appeal of gaming on a phone myself), and iPhone is a cash cow for Apple. I just don't see it happening. Just having money doesn't mean you'll be able to make it in the games industry, case in point Stadia and Amazon Games.
 

DenchDeckard

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Feb 28, 2021
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It’s crazy when you think about how far ahead they were with most things but it ends up being to their detriment in some ways.

xbox live was revolutionary for consoles.

but, stuff like Kinect and the drm and push to digital was like 5 years too soon and bit them in the ass.

microsoft need to learn that you have to guide customers slowly so humans feel like they are making the decision on their own. As soon as something feels forced you lose the customer and they all gang up against you.

it feels like they are slowly getting this.
 

onesvenus

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Aug 26, 2004
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Have you held a dualsense? Xbox is the least forward thinking when it comes to hardware, Sony have developed VR and Haptics tech, what has MS done that is forward thinking?
Sony has developed VR and Haptics? Should we forget about Oculus? Sony, like Microsoft, improved and refined existing tech and introduced it to consoles. Nothing less, nothing more
 

Goalus

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Mar 5, 2017
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Have you held a dualsense? Xbox is the least forward thinking when it comes to hardware, Sony have developed VR and Haptics tech, what has MS done that is forward thinking?
MS have developed VR inside-out tracking while Sony are still in the stone age of VR. Sony will copy it because they can't innovate on their own.
 

RafterXL

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Oct 24, 2017
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Have you held a dualsense? Xbox is the least forward thinking when it comes to hardware, Sony have developed VR and Haptics tech, what has MS done that is forward thinking?
The adaptive controller? Like it literally allows millions of people who can't use traditional controllers to actually play games, and brings in an entirely new audience. I'd call that pretty forward thinking.

P.S. I'm still waiting for Sony to be forward thinking enough to make a decent Elite competitor. All the haptics in the world don't make up for the fact that you STILL have to take your thumb off the stick to press face buttons.
 
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kuncol02

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Apr 4, 2020
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Do you not remember how terrible the PS3 was for social and online at launch? And how long it took them to get kind of up to speed?
AFAIR PS3 didn't even had centralized patch distribution system at launch.
 

nowhat

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Sep 18, 2017
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nush nush

Just as an unrelated and off-topic observation, I absolutely hate your avatar. This is not the first time I've tried to brush off a hair from my laptop screen, and probably not the last. So kudos, well done.
 
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nush

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Oct 16, 2017
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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
nush nush

Just as an unrelated and off-topic observation, I absolutely hate your avatar. This is not the first time I've tried to brush off a hair from my laptop screen, and probably not the last. So kudos, well done.

Black theme user!

 
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Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
Sep 30, 2019
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Xbox always been the most forward looking of the three brands...I think that has impart with it being an american company since we are far less caught up on tradition. It seems like every generation Xbox is trying to change something about the gaming industry be it xbox live, the drm with the Xbone or gamepass. Why they are my go to platform, I appreciate the change.
I don't think anyone wants that kind of change
 
Apr 22, 2021
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Have you held a dualsense? Xbox is the least forward thinking when it comes to hardware, Sony have developed VR and Haptics tech, what has MS done that is forward thinking?
I have a ps5 and its a great console but its business model isn't transformative...the duelsense is a good controller but IDC much about the haptic implementation. I didn't for the switch that much either. While playing deathloop I actually wished it was tone down...vibrations for each footstep is a bit much.