The 360 Interview

This interview with J Allard of the Microsoft 360 Hype Machine is making its rounds through the gaming sites and blogs (yeah, there’s quite a few comments on Major Nelson’s site). I read it with a big cube of salt, so not much really surprised me, except this little nugget:

J Allard (Expert):
Q: Why even offer the core package, its seems quite useless
A: great question! the thing to remember that while we designed a no compromises game system, a huge percentage of our customers are not like the folks in this chat room. recognize that more than 75% of the folks on xbox have not played halo. by introducing the core system we are sending a signal to the market that we are committed to this part of the market just like with the xbox 360 premium bundle that we are committed to you.

I call Bull-oney on that one. 75% have not played Halo? That just does not sound right. Perhaps that’s not including Halo 2. If Halo and Halo 2 are considered, it has to be close to 50% — Bungie has sold over 11 million copies of Halo and Halo 2. With 20 million Xboxes, you do the math. So it may be semantics, but a lot of people have played Halo. 25% my foot.

There’s more marketing double-speak and the the like, but I’ll let you read the poorly formatted chat. Still, like I said, it’s making it’s rounds in the gaming blogsphere. Here’s a smattering:

Major Ynos’ Mark Creig lived blogged it, cutting through the crap. He gives it to ya straight. (I’d avoid the comments there, they may cause spontaneous combustion)

Joystiq as usual provides great coverage, also highlighting the fact that Allard answered a lot of the questions with “We want to hear what the gamers think”. This could be call for input that will be given thoughtful consideration of it could be desperation. Maybe they don’t know what the heck they’re doing and they need some help.

Kotaku mentions the interview in passing (thinking the same I did – why did they hold this on Sunday?) along with the results from his poll.

Evil Avatar, often accused of Xbox bias (which I no longer agree with) had a pretty lively conversation about the chat as well.


  1. My favorite part was where Allard implied that you didn’t need memory sticks or a HD because only the hardcore crowd really cares about saving games anyway.

  2. Did you notice how he kept avoiding the inherent limitations in not including a hard drive? Whenever the question would pop up he would defer future blame to the developers. Yes, it is their choice if they want to use the hard drive as a cache for shorter load times or more detail, but clearly most developers are going to develop for the lowest common denominator. I like the idea of simply including a wireless controller and hard drive, none of that extra crap, and charging $350. A segmented user base at launch cannot be a good thing.

  3. The whole “only hardcore gamers” and “we didn’t make these decisions with you guys in mind” was a complete joke. How he thought those were smart things to say is beyond me.

    As to the hard drive-less core model, I fear the worst for that. Like you said, Tom, developers will be shooting for the lowest common dominator. And that’s never good. I know Microsoft felt it needed to hit that sub 300$ sweet spot, but come on, this is a joke.

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