Peter Moore shocked the industry by announcing his departure from the position of Xbox corporate vice president, leaving to lead EA's sports division. Not a week ago, Moore was representing Microsoft's console at E3, and that's where Gamasutra met with him, at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.
Herein, we discuss the 360's future, the battle between HD and Blu-ray, the Zune and potential Microsoft handheld devices (as a preview, he says we'll be waiting a "long time"), and virtual worlds. More importantly, we finally got the bottom of that age-old question – is Peter Moore the Devil?
How is the 360 going to capitalize on the lead it's got so far?
Peter Moore: What an install base lead gives you is a lot of critical mass in the marketplace, and from a developers' point of view, it's a great development platform. It's got a large critical massive install base, we're broadening our reach into the next phase of the consumer segmentation, and we've got a couple of good games coming this holiday. When you add all that together, you feel good about the momentum in the marketplace, if you believe that games make the difference. When you add all that together, we feel real good about having all the ingredients necessary to be successful this holiday and to continue to keep the lead.
It seems like everyone's going for user-created content these days. The Game Studio Express is positioning itself as the "YouTube of games." Do you think that's going to come quickly?
PM: We're certainly working on an environment where game developers -- from the hobbyist all the way up to the independent game studios -- can find a platform for their own created content. It's not easy. There's a lot of policy situations with security and all the things you need to do with administration. But we have a team that's working on that, and we're looking forward to being able to make that next step for Game Studio Express, to be able to have people to share their games online.
Based on your last console, some people feel that Microsoft isn't in things for the long haul, because the Xbox stopped after about five years. I'm sure you feel differently.
PM: I think those were Peter Dille's comments. They're welcome to their opinions, and having an opinion about something that is still years away is fine and makes good PR fodder, but we're very committed to this platform. I'll just let the numbers speak for themselves so far. I don't have to get into a swinging match with them.
The same gentleman says that HD-DVD will be dead within months. How do you feel about that?
PM: On that one, I look forward to speaking with you at CES next year. I was just looking at HD-DVD numbers over the weekend, and I think Toshiba may have an opinion about that. Of course, the fact that Sony has an economic interest in making sure that it's dead is interesting. I think his comments will be read with interest from the folks at the European Union, who will be looking at the tactics that they've been using to ensure that retailers do things their way. Again, I'll defer comment and look at what happens. I think that's kind of a preposterous statement.
I was wondering why we didn't hear much about Zune at E3.
PM: Well, it's a game show. It does not fall under me; it's a separate part of our overall division.
I know a lot of people were expecting some additional 360 connectibility.
PM: It's pretty good right now. When I connect it to my 360, it recognizes Zune immediately. We are laser-focused -- as you saw from the press conference -- on the games this holiday. The ability for us to start talking about devices that aren't game machines seems a little disingenuous. It's about the games, and we're here for the games. Games make this business go.
People are kind of waiting for the when, where, and how of Microsoft getting into handhelds, if ever they do.
PM: They may be waiting for awhile. Unless you've got a lot of money and can throw it my way, you're going to be waiting for awhile.