A day after Microsoft's E3 2007 press conference, Eurogamer sits down with the man who did most of the talking and asks about how he felt the conferences went, his current view on pricing, exclusivity deals, why things still aren't working out in Japan, the recent absorption of a billion-dollar cost for extending Xbox 360's warranty, and what happens beyond 2007. Over to you, Peter.
You know, I haven't had a lot of time. Unfortunately we also planned a 7am financial analyst meeting this morning that got me out of here at 6am and I've been on the go ever since. I did have a look at the normal blogs I check up on, friends in the UK. If I'm encapsulating the reaction that I've read on the blogs - no disrespect, but I didn't read journalist reaction, I read what the people thought, and a lot of people in the UK actually got up at 4.30 to watch it, god bless them - was that there wasn't a lot of announcement per se. There was no tattoos, there was no Metal Gear Solid. Maybe the anticipation of these announcements that some people have planted in their minds haven't come to bear.
But we had so much stuff. As well as the rather unusual step of just focusing purely on this year, rather than trying to do some visionary stuff about 2008 and 2009. If I read the mood of the boards correctly on that, it was 70 percent positive, 30 percent negative - wishing we had showed more visionary stuff, wanting to see what 2008's looking like and beyond. And the debacle that was my guitar playing [Moore says he couldn't hear the music properly]. You may have had time to read reaction more than I have, but I literally have not had the chance. So tell me what the reaction is.
Well, and I think rightly so this is a very critical moment in this coming holiday - and I apologise for saying "holiday" - I know that you guys give me abuse, and I'm not off to Greece for two weeks. I can say "Christmas". (Someone said last week, does Moore think he's going to Corfu or something like that?)
But it is a critical period we're coming into, because all three consoles are going to be on the straight band and it's going to be who's got the goods. And if we still all believe that great games moves hardware, then it's about the great games. So we made the decision several months ago that, look, we've probably got 40 games we need to show in some way or another, but for 2007 we don't want to short-change either our first-party stuff or more importantly our third-party partners, so we said we were just going to focus on right here, right now, and, as we said last night, put our cards on the table.
When you've got a holiday like this with Halo, Grand Theft Auto and in the case of the US Madden, all coming together within literally I guess 90 days of each other, it's a pretty critical holiday. We felt good about what we showed - in particular some live demos - Call of Duty I think blew a lot of people away - [thickens accent] the lads from PGR came down from Bizarre Creations and I helped Brian get his English right, which he was doing...
Trust me, it was live.
Er! I'm not going to comment on that one [laughs].
But Jason and Grant - absolutely. Because there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong. No, they were definitely. No doubt about that. Unequivocally live.
[Counts on fingers] Too Human, Alan Wake, Halo Wars, Fable 2, Banjo Kazooie, which is five titles - first-party exclusives obviously - that I think about for 2008 that we haven't even begun...even though Peter Molyneux's here I think showing Fable 2, and you'll probably get a glance at Halo Wars - I haven't been able to see that yet. No, there's plenty of titles. And that's just first-party stuff.
I think our challenge was, this E3, yesterday, that we were going to have to short-change things this holiday to talk about the future. I'm very cognisant; we had people sat on concrete steps and wanted to get in and out in an hour and fifteen minutes, plus we were on television. It was important we focused on - and we may have been wrong - but we wanted to focus on this 2007, and then we've got plenty of opportunities, whether it's Leipzig, or TGS, or other opportunities in the future to talk about 2008. I think gamers are very very discerning about where they're going to spend their money this holiday, and they're spoilt for choice with games - not only with ourselves, but Nintendo and Sony also laid their cards on the table this morning, so in a world where a lot of people have only two consoles now, they're spoilt for choice.
I saw glimpses. I was in and out of interviews, and we actually put on monitors in one of the lobbies down there, the web-stream, and I saw a little bit of - I saw Nintendo's Wii Fit, which was interesting. I was trying to figure out - it was difficult to see, we kept losing connection - but you know, it seemed to be something that... remember I was at Reebok for many years where the Reebok Step, which is an aerobic exercise thing where you step on and step off, and I thought it was that at first, but it seems more like it's motion-sensing.
Yeah, I was waiting to see Reggie's weight! But I don't think we ever saw it.