Microsoft's Phil Spencer • Page 2

Japan? Yes we can! Etc.

Eurogamer: Counting all consoles and everything?

Phil Spencer: For the holiday, yeah, I bet it is. We have 15 launch games - few consoles have shipped with 15 launch games. They're really high quality. And there are some things we can take advantage of - the fact the 360 is a platform people know, so the technology involved in putting a game on the platform, connecting to Live - those are things that developers have become adept at.

It will be about how we execute, but we'll see. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but we're invested and we expect, yeah, that this will be the biggest launch we've ever seen.

Eurogamer: Three million shifted this Christmas, then?

Phil Spencer: That's what my friend Don [Mattrick] said. I think that's an ambitious number. I would expect that we could at least do that.

Eurogamer: Go on, say a bigger number. Let's up the stakes. Three million and one?

Phil Spencer: Like The Price is Right... We're in this for the long run, we're investing in this as if it's a core part of our platform. This is something that's going to transform the way people play on the 360. We think that starts this holiday and continues for evermore.

Eurogamer: You say you're confident in the potential of the launch titles for Kinect. Your very own Peter Molyneux doesn't seem quite so confident - he's been saying recently that perhaps we shouldn't judge Kinect on the first wave of titles. He seemed to be saying, don't expect amazing things...

Phil Spencer: What I would say, having been through a few platform launches, is launching is always a unique challenge for a team.

Eurogamer: Challenging is just another word for hard, isn't it?

Phil Spencer: Yes, it is difficult because figuring out the hardware while we're figuring out the operating system and trying to figure out the experiences on top... All of that does make it challenging, absolutely. Difficult.

That said, if we look historically at what happens at launches of platforms, that is when true franchises are created. I can focus on Halo as our classic example - that was a launch game on Xbox 1 and now it has its own place in gaming. It's a unique opportunity to create a franchise that lasts for an awful long time.

Eurogamer: Do you ever wish you had some kind of tranquiliser gun for Peter Molyneux so you could stop him saying these things?

Phil Spencer: No, I don't think he's wrong there. Peter is funny. We had breakfast together this morning. We did his annual review this morning.

Eurogamer: Oh? How many marks out of 10 did he get?

Phil Spencer: Oh, you know, he always wants 12 out of 10.

Eurogamer: Knowing Peter Molyneux, he probably wants 5000 out of 10.

Phil Spencer: Exactly. But he's had a good year. I've been playing Fable III and - of course I'm going to say this, so everybody can kind of go, 'Whatever, Phil,' but - it is the best Fable yet.

Eurogamer: Whatever, Phil.

Phil Spencer: But you'll play and you'll tell me. I said the same thing about Reach and I think people are telling us back that this probably is the best Halo ever.

Peter is a very important person - while we haven't announced any Kinect games from Lionhead, Peter's role as creative director in Europe and what he does to our overall creative eco system inside our organisation is very strong. So no, I don't want to tranquilise him.

Eurogamer: PlayStation Move launches today - have you pre-ordered yours?

Phil Spencer: This is going to sound like a cheeky comment, but I hadn't realised it launched today.

Eurogamer: [GASP]

Phil Spencer: I mean, I knew it was coming up. I've been focused a little bit on our Halo launch, so maybe that's why I have my blinders on, to be honest.

I did not pre-order one. I will play it, absolutely. I play most of the games on the other platforms. I want to know what people are doing. I walked the booth and saw what some of the people are doing. It looked - I'm not trying to take shots at them - it looked kind of similar to what they'd shown at E3. I didn't see a ton of new stuff.

Eurogamer: Sony's pushing 3D very hard, they seem very confident it's the future of gaming...

Phil Spencer: Yeah. They want to sell you a TV.

Eurogamer: They do, yes. Is the only reason Microsoft isn't pushing too because you don't want to sell me a TV?

Phil Spencer: We support 3D on 360, absolutely.

Eurogamer: Sure, but you don't seem to be saying it's the future of gaming. Sony is saying, yes, OK, people don't have 3D TVs now, but...

Phil Spencer: But they should, because they want you to buy one... We're about mass-market scale opportunity, and today in the home, 3D isn't there. It's just not.

When we think about a platform for content creators, where they can ship titles on our platform, and sell millions of units, and have the success they need to have for their business, 3D it just doesn't have that surface area yet in the home.

From a creative standpoint, I'm not really seeing the innovation in 3D I think we need. More stuff flinging at me from a screen... I don't know if that's creativity. The first few times it was novel, but I think we're going to want to see some kind of evolutionary step and creativity in using 3D that will really drive consumer demand.

You see that even on the silver screen - when 3D movies came out it used to spike box office sales. Now the novelty has worn off a little bit and people are saying well, what is remarkable about this?

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