A Week in the Fast Lane of
REDMOND, Wash., April 23, 2007 – Peter Moore, corporate vice president
for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, had a full schedule last
week. He kicked off the week with a keynote at NAB 2007, the annual conference
of the National Association of Broadcasters, where he addressed how Xbox 360
is changing the way people interact with their television. Next it was off to
the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley where he addressed Microsoft’s
gaming platform as having the most advanced controls in the entire interactive
entertainment industry. Moore also visited the University of California, Berkeley’s
Haas School of Business, where he addressed the next generation of business
leaders and shared information about his own career in the video game industry.
Last, he discussed video console sales data released late last week by the market
research firm, NPD.
As corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in Microsoft's
Entertainment and Devices Division, Moore is responsible for leading both the
Xbox and Games for Windows businesses. Moore’s team also owns driving
games development at Microsoft Game Studios, as well as cultivating relationships
with third-party game publishers and developers around the world.
PressPass spoke with Moore for additional background on the thoughts he shared
with broadcast-industry leaders and how video gaming is reshaping the television
PressPass: Your keynote
at NAB 2007 was titled “Interactive Entertainment Goes High Definition
and Online…And How TV Will Never Be the Same Again.” How is Xbox
360 ushering in an era of change in the digital entertainment arena?
Peter Moore: Television
has changed forever. Video game consoles are brining social networking and HD
entertainment delivered over the Internet to TV for the first time. In November
we launched Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, which allows Xbox 360 owners to download
hundreds of standard and high-definition, full-length TV shows and movies directly
to their consoles. Partners like CBS, Warner Brothers, MTV and Paramount Pictures
tell us that Xbox 360 became the #2 distributor of TV and movie content on the
Internet overnight, only behind iTunes. But we’re #1 in high definition
and #1 where it matters most – in the living room. On the social entertainment
side, next month we’ll launch Games for Windows Live on the PC and Windows
Live Messenger on Xbox 360, expanding the largest social network on television.
PressPass: Tell me about
how the rise of digital downloads affects games, TV shows and movies.
customer wants a console that does it all and grows with them all the time.
With Xbox 360, we’ve delivered a system that plays games in high def.
It connects you to friends and HD content through Xbox Live. It plays DVD movies
and digital music right out of the box. That’s just the start.
In an online world, the system evolves every day with new players, new features
and new content to enjoy. It’s an incredibly dynamic world. Sometimes
people want to play Halo with friends. Sometimes they only have five minutes
for Pac-Man. Sometimes, they want to watch a movie in HD, or laugh to an episode
of South Park or the Colbert Report. Xbox 360 seeks to serve those ever-changing
entertainment moods – offering something for everyone at anytime. And
digital downloads play a big part in satiating the entertainment appetites of
PressPass: What is different about this wave of next-generation consoles?
Moore: Beyond realism
and immersion, this generation of consoles brings more social, more personal
experiences into the living room.
With Xbox LIVE we offer the largest social network connected to your TV. The
Xbox LIVE community was originally built to connect people who have a love of
gaming, but it has since evolved into an incredibly rich and diverse community
of six million people, who can connect daily with their friends and family in
ways we never expected.
Members of the Xbox LIVE community currently send more than 2 million text and
voice messages a day, and will soon be able to use Instant Messenger with up
to six people on their contact list at one time, while playing games, listening
to music or watching movies. IM adds to the variety of options friends and families
already have to communicate with on Xbox LIVE, including voice and video chat.
It’s a community that’s growing in leaps and bounds, and continues
to grow at a rate faster than industry analysts predicted and that we ourselves
What’s most remarkable about Xbox LIVE is the “stickiness”
of the service, which is how we in the software and services business measure
our product’s true success. Xbox LIVE, quite simply, gets used.
PressPass: Many of Xbox
LIVE’s community members are in their teens. What is Microsoft doing to
help ensure parents that they have control over their children’s gaming
Moore: It’s our
responsibility to give parents the tools and the information they need to be
involved in the interactive entertainment choices of their children, and we’ve
taken a leadership role in this space.
Just last October, Microsoft launched a citizenship campaign with the Boys &
Girls Clubs of America and Best Buy Co. Inc. to address the concerns of parents
surrounding age-appropriate content in video games. It's called “Safety
is no game. Is your family set?” The campaign is a grass-roots effort
to educate parents about Family Settings, the Xbox parental controls feature,
as well as parental controls on the PC, and other tools they can use to help
control the entertainment choices of their children. Xbox has also developed
a quick, easy-to-read curriculum, called “Helping Parents Protect Kids:
A Family Guide to Video Games,” to provide parents with more information
about Family Settings and resources to help them make the choices that are right
for their families. We’ve also created an interactive Digital IQ Quiz,
a “language of video games” glossary and a video you can watch on
our Web site to see just how easy it is to use Family Settings. We’re
at the end of a 20-city bus tour where we’ve been talking to parents across
the country about safer gaming and providing them with hands-on training for
PressPass: What does
the "Is Your Family Set?" campaign plan to accomplish?
Moore: The campaign is
designed to inform parents and caregivers about the technology, resources and
information available to them to help guide their family’s interactive
entertainment choices. The goal of our campaign is to provide clear and accessible
information to parents and caregivers about our Family Settings technology,
the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game ratings system and
a variety of other resources.
PressPass: Xbox 360 was
the first console to introduce parental controls, with Sony and Nintendo just
catching up this past November. How is the competition between the next generation
of consoles faring for Microsoft?
Moore: On the console
competition front, NPD – a market-research firm that provides news and
information for various industries, including the video game industry in the
U.S. – just released its March sales numbers. We’re happy to announce
that Xbox 360 sold 199K units for the month of March.
PressPass: Xbox 360 has
held the industry record in software attach rate, or games sold per console,
for eight months in a row. To what do you attribute this success?
Moore: Our best-in-class
game portfolio is the core of why our customers are passionate about their Xbox.
Xbox 360’s software-attach rate continues to outperform the competition
at 5.7 games sold per console, according to NPD. This record continues to demonstrate
the depth and breadth of the Xbox games portfolio.
Xbox 360 also continued to deliver four of the top 10 games for the month of
March, including “Def Jam Icon,” “Guitar Hero II,” “Major
League Baseball 2K7” and ”Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced
Warfighter 2.” This summer we’re looking forward to offering highly
anticipated blockbusters like “Shrek the Third,” “Spider-Man
3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”
We’re also thrilled about the early success of “Guitar Hero II,”
which exploded onto the Xbox 360 platform in April, selling 291,000 units after
only five days on the market; that means nearly 2,500 units per hour were rolling
off the store shelves. This made it the number three top-selling game in this
period across all consoles. Games like “Guitar Hero II” that were
once PlayStation exclusives are now enabling consumers to have more choices
when it comes to platform selection, while also broadening our portfolio of
games that appeal to customers of all ages.
We will have more than 300 titles by the end of the year, so the hits just keep
PressPass: What direction is Xbox 360 heading through
2007 into 2008?
Moore: We’re right
where we want to be at this stage in the game. All in all, 2007 continues to
be a very exciting year for Xbox 360 as we continue to expand our library of
some of the best high-definition content, and the upcoming release of the worldwide
phenomenon – "Halo 3" - which is among the biggest entertainment
properties in history. We’re also appealing to a broader audience by offering
a deeper portfolio of games that appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, and
really get you off the couch and on your feet, like “Guitar Hero II”
and favorites like “Dance Dance Revolution”.
In addition, we recently announced a new version of Xbox 360 called the Xbox
360 Elite. This console includes a 120-GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia
interface (HDMI) port, a high definition (HD) cable and a premium black finish,
and comes with a wireless controller and Xbox Live headset. The Xbox 360 Elite’s
larger hard drive gives the gaming community an opportunity to enjoy all that
the next generation of entertainment has to offer – from video games to
movies and TV shows available through Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace. Xbox 360
Elite joins the ranks of our Core and Pro offerings that provide consumers with
the flexibility to purchase the version of Xbox that best fits their unique
With our strong portfolio of games and industry-leading services like Xbox LIVE
and Marketplace, we’re excited to say we’re still on track to hit
our target of profitability in FY08.
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