Interview with Robbie Bach

January 25, 2008

Hows that?! To kick off the site I have an interview with Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment & Devices Division.

 SG: Welcome to SG.
RB: Your welcome, I am pleased to be here, and I congratulate you on recovering over your illness.
SG: Thank you, it was difficult but I needed to see how the next generation of gaming would play out [laughs]. So, this 2007 holiday was very important for Microsoft correct?
RB: Yes, it was. Every holiday was important but this holiday would show where we stand in the game industry. Right now we are number one in total console sales when comparing the Xbox 360 to the Nintendo Wii or Sony’s PlayStation 3.
SG: You mention that your number one, which is a fantastic achievement however with the Wii’s sales beating yours this holiday season- does that show your simply in second place.
RB: At Microsoft we think of the Wii in a different bracket of gaming so its hard to compare the two consoles. The Wii has a very small life cycle and doesn’t compare to the Xbox 360 feature wise. And while it is taking plausible 360 sales its important to notice that Nintendo has created a revolutionary device and Microsoft expected it to sell decent, and the system can afford to sell decent because its very similar to a childs toy. It would be like comparing the 360 to the PSP which wouldn’t be a good comparison. Regardless to all this, overall sales is what counts.
SG: What do you think drove 360 sales?
RB: From my view- its all about the games. Especially with big selling exclusive blockbusters like Halo 3, Mass Effect and Bioshock. Also, if you look towards the 360 future there is a lot of great stuff going on there.
SG: What is in store for he 360’s future.
RB: We have a fantastic line up of games but more importantly its the service were to offer. While I can’t say much yet with GDC right around the corner I can say that were opening up the console much more. Were enhancing Xbox Live even further. As you know Live has been around for 5 years but what has really been important is not how long the service has alive is how every year were putting loads of features in it. This year we have Xbox Originals which is great, more shows and movies off of the Video Marketplace, more titles off of the Live Arcade and as everyone knows IPTV will be furthering this experience and thats really key for us at Microsoft.
SG: Do you have a estimated release date for the IPTV service?
RB: Our goal is a 2008 release.
SG: One thing you talked about are the games- so far I think the 2008 year seems to be lacking. Especially when  put up against the PS3 or Wii.
RB: Well were saving a lot of stuff for GDC, which is where we plan on showing off some big titles such as Halo Wars and Alan Wake.
SG: Any titles we haven’t heard about?
RB: Obviously there are going to be a couple spectacular things going on at GDC. With the Xbox now pushing a profit thats huge for us. That is really going to show developers which system to develop for. Also with Vista and the Zune becoming more and more used expect some spectacular cross-platform Live experiences.
SG: Could you explain how Zune can be used with Live?
RB: Live is all about accessibilty, with Live were all about what the consumers want. So its important to us that the consumers want accessibilty with Live so with Zunes built in wifi access its a definetley an avenue were looking in. Live Anywhere is huge for us. Games For Windows Live is a great success on PC. Now its important to access that stuff on the go. It would be nice if I could see what game my friend was playing on his Xbox 360 thanks to the Zunes wifi and I could check that out and lets say I enter my room with my laptop sitting there and with wireless sync on the zune, before I have even fully open the door I click “join game” on my zune and on my PC it starts the game up automatically. Thats a key experience.
SG: Can we expect Zune achievements? Like listen to x song and get x achievements or simple games on Zune that give you achievements.
RB: Both features you described are something were looking into, its all about the consumers. We never want to force anything down the consumers to get them playing online.
SG: Do consumers find all this Live Anywhere stuff neccessary?
RB: Obviously since Live is for consumers its obviously something they want. We have made a fantastic service. Vista, Zune and 360 have amazing sales. Its important to bring the Live experience anywhere we can. Everyone I know says they love Xbox Live. And its important for us to keep that experience up anywhere. Microsoft is extremely happy with everything thats been going on currently.
SG: One last question- “you said you never force anything down consumers to get them online” does that mean we will see Xbox Live for free?
RB: Well thats something thats already happening with Xbox Silver, your able to access the world of online gaming for free.
SG: Unfortunatley thats all the time we have, but thanks for coming.
RB: It was my pleasure.

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One Response to “Interview with Robbie Bach”

  1. writingoffer said

    Hi there Sith Gamer.

    Would you be interested in writing for a more established site? If interested, how may I get in touch with you ?

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