The Xboss • Page 3

Microsoft's Stephen McGill talks Kinect. 

Eurogamer: Speaking of Call of Duty, I interviewed Aaron Greenberg at Tokyo Game Show last month. I asked him to bet me a tenner that Halo: Reach would outsell Black Ops on Xbox 360, Would you take that bet?

Steve McGill: Umm... I know what we've done on Halo: Reach, I know they have huge aspirations on Call of Duty... I'm looking forward to both of them...

Eurogamer: Will you bet me a tenner?

Steve McGill: Well, they're going to outsell us in that they're multi-platform, and we're only on one platform.

Eurogamer: But on the Xbox 360 platform, will you bet me a tenner that Halo: Reach does better?

Steve McGill: I'm tightfisted with my cash, so I'm not going to bet anyone any money about anything.

Eurogamer: Aaron wouldn't take the bet either. I'm sensing a serious lack of internal confidence. I think you need to have some more motivational meetings.

Steve McGill: We're very confident about Halo, the numbers speak for themselves. We're also very confident that COD's going to do amazingly well.

Eurogamer: This question's from @shaunmrilroy: "Why is there no Lovefilm-style system on Xbox 360?" The US has got Netflix - why are we still lacking a decent movie service here in Europe?

Steve McGill: I dispute that... I think we've got a great service with Zune movies. We've also got live television through Sky. So I think we have a great entertainment service.

Eurogamer: Well, this is anecdotal but my husband recently wanted to go down the shops and rent a video. I said, "No! Xbox is the future, let's DOWNLOAD one!" But we went through the library and it's not huge, and an awful lot of films on there are quite old and/or rubbish... Whereas in the US, Netflix subscribers can choose from thousands of films, including new releases. Surely our service isn't as good by comparison?

Steve McGill: The US doesn't have Sky, so we've got live TV, which brings football to a lot of people and that's important to a lot of UK audiences. I think we do have a good number of new release movies on there. Kick-Ass has only recently come out on DVD...

It's full HD Blu-ray quality, no disc, no download, no delay. We've got a lot of great partners and there are some partners we don't have who we'll continue to talk to.

Eurogamer: Are you in discussions with anyone like Lovefilm?

Steve McGill: I'm not aware of any conversations around any new apps coming to the service just yet. But we continue to work with all the movie partners to bring their content.

Eurogamer: Will we ever see the BBC iPlayer on Xbox 360?

Steve McGill: There are conversations going on. The thing for us is, how do we add some magic sauce to that so that it's different? A lot of people are watching that on their PC. How many people are going to watch it on the console unless we add something different?

That's one of the things we talked about when Sky came out - how we could make it more intuitive, the social side of things, party mode environments... We put those together with Sky and launched our service. So you should talk to the BBC.

Eurogamer: Here's a question from @marginwalker: "When the next Xbox comes out, will you be able to keep your old XBLA content and DLC or will it disappear?" I don't make these up.

Steve McGill: We've no plans for another Xbox. You'll continue to see us bring amazing new experiences to the console, without you having to buy a brand new console. A couple of years ago we didn't have movies, Sky, Facebook and Twitter - now we've got things like Kinect.

We'll continue to evolve those gaming and entertainment experiences through the power of software updates, rather than new chipsets and plastic.

Eurogamer: Aaron Greenberg has said he reckons we'll see another Xbox in about five years. So you think that's a reasonable estimation?

Steve McGill: I'm not sure what the timeframe is. There's a long long way to go with the experiences people deliver on this platform - we're just beginning to scratch the surface.

Obviously we've got this brand new experience platform with Kinect. The launch games and experiences are pretty phenomenal but it's a gateway to unlock a lot of amazing ideas for developers. So there's a long way to go.

Stephen McGill is head of Xbox UK. Any Microsoft executive willing to bet us a tenner about the Halo / COD thing should get in touch.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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