Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox games marketing, recently sat down with MCV and talked about two of the hottest topics that are circling the gaming industry today.
In the interview with MCV, Aaron also shared his thoughts on other exciting and stimulating topics such as the announcements made by Microsoft regarding Xbox Project Scorpio and cross play between Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Project Scorpio was announced by the company at E3 this year and Greenberg took the opportunity to speak about the subject.
Greenberg was questioned if Project Scorpio’s reveal had impacted the company’s current gaming consoles, namely Xbox One and Xbox One S in terms of sale numbers.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure that people might hold off their plans to buy the current generation of gaming consoles if, at the back of their minds, they know that a more powerful (significantly more powerful as a matter of fact) console was about to be released.
And since GameStop recently revealed that the announcement of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio and Sony’s PlayStation Neo had indeed negatively impacted the sale numbers of the current generation of consoles, the question was perhaps more justified than ever.
As expected, Aaron Greenberg did not address the question directly but he did give an answer that “kind of” stated the company’s position on the issue.
Greenberg said that Microsoft’s primary focus was on being extremely aggressive in terms of Xbox One S marketing.
HE said that the company would also be really concentrated on delivering a lot of value with bundles and what the end user got for the price paid.
A couple of weeks ago Phil Spencer, who is the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, said in an interview that Project Scorpio did not overshadow Xbox One S.
As mentioned before, some industry insiders were of the opinion that Microsoft’s announcement regarding Project Scorpio might impact Xbox One S sale numbers but seemingly that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Microsoft’s Xbox One, for the first time in twelve months, outsold PS4 in the United States of America during the month of July. But that was before the release date of Xbox One S.
Regardless, Microsoft is still optimistic about the company’s chances of selling more consoles in the month of August.
In the interview with MCV, Greenberg reiterated his position that Project Scorpio would indeed be the most powerful console ever created. He also alluded to the fact that Project Scorpio featured a six-teraflop GPU.
Aaron also told reporters that Project Scorpio represented the next big leap forward in innovation for the gaming industry and that what Microsoft was doing with Project Scorpio had never been done before as far as console gaming was concerned.
Aaron also talked about how Microsoft was handling Xbox as a family of devices rather than individual pieces of console equipment and that this was the first time the company thought along the lines of taking concrete steps to keep older consoles relevant.
For clarity’s sake, readers should know that now any game or accessory you own for Xbox One S or Xbox One will be able to connect with Scorpio. That is, your older stuff will work on Scorpio.
That is obviously a departure from earlier console transitions like from Xbox 360 to Xbox One where the games and controller you had for the previous console machine were essentially of no use to you once you had bought the newer Xbox One.
In other words, all your stuff from the past console generation was useless as far as the new console was concerned.
As a result, players had to buy the marginally upgraded controllers and “remastered” versions of the same game they had owned previously all over again which Microsoft believes was “hard for the gamers.”
But now, with Microsoft’s backwards compatibility support program, that problem has been addressed to some extent. About 250 games from Microsoft’s previous console generation were added to Xbox One’s compatibility list which allowed those older games to run on the newer console without problems.
However, with Project Scorpio Microsoft is aiming to wipe out the problem entirely by taking the backward compatibility program one step further.
Microsoft recently announced that Project Scorpio would mark the end of console generations in the sense that players would be able to make use of their older content on newer systems starting from Project Scorpio.
Microsoft said that Project Scorpio would smooth out the disruptive nature of console generations which forced gamers to move to a new platform while abandoning their old gaming tech.
Greenberg also spoke about how Microsoft announced Project Scorpio earlier than planned at E3 so that the company could start its work with the developers and other partners.
He also said that Microsoft wanted those select group of developers and partners to take advantage of the incredible amount of power that Project Scorpio offered.
Aaron was of the idea that in doing that, the developers and third-party facilitators would now have a good year plus to be able to plan for the company’s upcoming Project Scorpio.
Microsoft’s Project Scorpio is scheduled to launch in holiday 2017 but the company has not made any announcements regarding the price of its latest upcoming video game console.
Sony, on the other hand, is currently occupied with its own version of an ultra PS4 which is codenamed PlayStation NEO.
Reliable rumor sources have suggested that Sony could reveal its latest project in sometime in September officially.
Aaron, in his interview with MCV, was also quizzed about the prospect of Microsoft teaming up with Sony for cross-play support. He was also asked for a status update, if there was any, on the issue regarding Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
From the looks of it, currently, the ball is in Sony’s court apparently. The rumor mill is filled with the news that one of the first games that could support any kind of cross-play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is Rocket League.
At the moment, nothing has been said about the matter but sources have indicated that Developer Psyonix (the team behind Rocket League) already has a technical solution for the problem of cross-play.
But as pointed out by Psyonix vice President Jeremy Dunham back in March, the only problem that hasn’t been addressed is that of politics. Jeremy had earlier stated that technically everything would be able to work as the studio had figured out the necessary problems to form a bridge between the two communities i.e Microsoft’s Rocket League players and Sony’s Rocket League players.
However, Aaron told MCV that in terms of connecting with gamers who were on the PlayStation Network (PSN), the company supported all efforts that allowed them to cross-play with other platform’s players.
He also said that he believed that the company was working the details out with Sony about the cross-play issue and that he didn’t know much regarding the latest news on the matter.
As far as generally cross-play was concerned, Aaron said that for a multiplayer game like Rocket League, it made a lot of sense to allow players no different platforms to come together and compete with each other in the same arenas.
Aaron said that Microsoft believed it was good for the gamers and for the studios behind those games.
Greenberg further added that Microsoft’s strategy was to put gamers at the center of everything that the company did.
He said that this strategy had led the company to support things like cross-play where a developer wanted to connect to more people on, for example, Steam.
“They’re doing that today,” he added.
Xbox Boss On GoldenEye Gameplay Footage
A couple of days before the MCV interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer commented on the GoldenEye 007 Xbox 360 gameplay footage that had surfaced recently.
Spencer said that GoldenEye had always been a rights issue rather than a technical issue.
Earlier this week, some gameplay video of what was alleged to be an Xbox Live Arcade version of GoldenEye 007 was uploaded online.
Some witnesses of the gameplay footage were of the opinion that the game looked wonderful and that it was sad that the actually game never came out either for Xbox 360 or Xbox One.
Microsoft’s head of Xbox division was asked via Twitter if GoldenEye 007 was actually in development for Xbox 360.
Phil Spencer responded to the question by actually not confirming or denying the rumor. Phil did add, however, that getting GoldenEye on a new platform was a rights issue more than anything else.
According to a report released by UnSeen64, GoldenEye 007 for Xbox Live Arcade was indeed in development at Rare. That was in the year 2007 and 2008 though.
The report also revealed that Microsoft along with Activision (who actually hold the rights to James Bond) and Nintendo had come to an agreement regarding publishing the game.
But, Nintendo Japan pulled the plug on the project for some unknown reasons just months before the initial planned release date.
Right now nothing can be confirmed about the current state of the project. Though if you do want to get your hands on any James Bond game then search for a James Bond game from the developers of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which was released in 2015.
Though that version of the game isn’t available on any console or PC since it was made only for Android and iOS. You can get that here.