Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg Talks Building the Best Platform; “Just Starting” to Show Xbox One’s Power

on February 21, 2015 6:58 PM

One of the secrets behind success in the gaming industry is definitely having a great team, and Microsoft’s head of Xbox games marketing Aaron Greenberg feels that the house of Xbox One nailed that, as he told The Inner Circle Podcast in an interview today.

Greenberg mentioned that the biggest difference between the beginning of the Xbox One’s life cycle and the current period is that now that the console is out, Microsoft can really focus on the content. They’re really proud of the product itself , but now they definitely want to focus on the software and on the services.

The “games first” straregy is also due to Phil Spencer’s leadership:

Phil has been the head of our games for many years, and to have him in charge of the entire business is the reflection of that. He’s been a great leader, people love working with him, and the guy knows games inside out. You can see that in the review. Phil can see stuff that nobody sees. He has that talent. He’s fantastic and he genuinely cares. He’s a total class act.

Greenberg continued by explaining that these have been the best years of his career, because he’s working on amazing things with a great group of people. According to him, Microsoft has a dream team, including Ken Lobb, who is the “Yoda of video games.”

The slow and steady approach is our focus and we’re very clear on what we wanna do. We’re not not wavering and we’re making investments and building the best games anywhere, and building the best platform for gamers.

I think we’ll continue to innovate and we’ll continue to bring great games. We did it last year, and we’ll do it again next year. We feel like that’s the right strategy. As long as we stay focused on that, I think we’ll be all right.

Aaron also talked about Xbox One updates, mentioning that Microsoft has more engineers focusing on the platform, on Xbox Live and on their innovation than anyone else in the space, and that’s why the system software progresses so much and so quickly. In a year they added a lot more functionality, and he promised that we can expect the same level of innovation a year from now.

Screenshots are an example of things that was implemented because users asked for it, and there are “fifty-plus things like that, and we have a list of fifty more that we know people want and we’ll continue to crank at ’em month by month.”

Interestingly, he also mentioned that he doesn’t think the Xbox One launched too early. They had to launch head to head with the PS4, but that’s not the reason why the console launched when it did. They didn’t know what Sony was doing, and the same was for the other side. They were focused on their own line-up and features and they felt that they were ready. There are no regrets on Microsoft’s side about when the console hit the shelves.

While it takes time to get the right tools out to allow developers to use the full power of the console, Greenberg continued, investments have been made on DirectX 12, and that will have effects both on PC and Xbox One. Phil Spencer will talk about what that means for developer at GDC.

According to Greenberg, the future is bright, and the folks at Xbox are not resting. They work hard and love what they do. We’re still very early in this generation, and Microsoft is just starting to showcase the power and the graphics fidelity of the Xbox One.They’re just starting to innovate with some “really cool things” with Xbox Live, with some of that on the server side with Azure and the Cloud.

I’m excited. I’ve seen a little bit of the future, and I’ve seen some of the farther future stuff, which is pretty awesome too. I think all up the company is doing some really cool things. I thought the Windows 10 event was great.

Hololens is multiple years in the future technology that they’re delivering today, which is just unbelievable.

Greenberg recounts that he has seen people put on the headset and start crying. Yet gaming has been a big investment for Microsoft, and we’re “going to see a lot of that this year.”

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.