Lack of Indies and Digital Future Discussed by Phil Harrison.
In an interview with Games Industry International, Microsoft's Phil Harrison, addressed a few of the tougher subject areas for the Xbox One. Those subject include the platform's future with indie games, the long-term vision surrounding the Xbox 180 DRM/digital ownership scheme, and the balance of an entertainment versus game platform.
When it comes the Xbox One's indie program, Harrison described "an avalanche of interest," but also ultimately stated "I don't think we're going to see things (indie games) at launch... It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come thorugh."
When it comes to the Xbox 180 policy reversal, and rationalizing how Microsoft could introduce a plan, receive a flood of feedback, and then drastically change that plan, Harrison stood firm, "Our long term vision hasn't changed at all. We haven't diluted our long term vision, which is all of the benefits of a connected ecosystem and what that means for all of the stakeholders - us, developer, publisher and crucially, the player. None of that has changed. What we recognized was when you put a disc slot in the front of a machine certain expectations come with that disc slot."
As for the Xbox One's entertainment focus, Harrison explained that the console's ability to switch from one to the other in "one or two frames of time... increases the utility of the machine and increases the breadth of enjoyment that you would get from the console." This ability was described as a fundamental change from the 360 experience and the 360's capabilities. "On Xbox 360, to load a game, unload a game, load an app, unload an app - it takes time. And is therefore very difficult to support both behaviors or both states at the same time. It was laborious. What we did on Xbox One was to build an operating system that will allow you to seamlessly switch between those two. You have both running at the same time by snapping one to the side of the screen and have these two coexist."
One thing agreed upon in the interview was that pre-launch issues would be forgotten as the focus shifts to the games, including the launch line-up, which Harrison described as "very, very strong. And Titanfall is turning into the huge megahit that we expected it to be."
Source: Games Industry International
Author: Brian Hoss