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X3F interview: 4 minutes in the dark with Peter Moore


Peter Moore with Rock Band producer, Helen McWilliams

On the second night of E3, we stepped into a large, dimly lit room filled with tables -- 8 tables to be exact. At each table sat important folk from the ranks of Microsoft. Bungie's Frank O'Connor, Peter Molyneux: there's some big names in this room (we'll have more on them soon). Sitting in front of us is Peter Moore, VP of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division -- i.e. Xbox. On the right hand side of the room is large LED chess clock. We have four minutes. That's it. The clock starts and we ask him the first thing we can think to ask. We've only got four minutes here, so there's no point in being coy about it.

How do you like Rock Band?

I love Rock Band. I actually, as you may or may not know, I actually went on stage again last night down in west Hollywood, and got up on the stage with the guys and had a good time. Once I can hear the music I can play the game, you know, so I think it's a great game. I love it, I flew to Cambridge, Massachusetts about six months ago, got my first taste of it. Just knew right then we needed to make it part of the briefing, and knew I'm stupid enough to go and put a guitar around my neck and give it a go.

Have you tried out the other instruments too?

You know, I'm not that good with the drums. I'm not much of a singer although I did sing. I can do bass and lead guitar, or not do bass and lead guitar, whatever is the thing (laughter), but you know the drums are a little bit more difficult.

Just curious, I mean, you're here, you have a chance to look at the competition. Do you see anything else that you like from the other big two?

I'm not sure I've had a lot of chances to look the the competition, but I did try to see as much of both of the briefings that I [could]. I'm fascinated with the WiiFit concept with the pad and to see what that feels like. I haven't seen it yet. I'm interested because I haven't seen it, how Killzone plays. I didn't see the latest on Little Big Planet, but that's another thing I'm interested in so, you know, from my point of view I've been trapped in this Hotel. I have not left this hotel other than to go to west Hollywood last night since Sunday, [and] to go to the high school, so I've not seen anything.

We checked out the social fun event, and, could you talk maybe about Microsoft pushing the more casual stuff like, say, Scene It for example?

Yeah.

Will we see more simple product kind of like that appealing to, for lack of a better word, a Wii audience?

Well, I don't think it's a Wii audience, but I think it's a family audience. I think that the simple controller, and more and more games utilizing that controller is very important to us as well as the industry. I like the idea of, certainly in my house, my wife who'd generally never get near a video game console but certainly goes to movies can ... the utilization of something she can do which is hit a button on a controller is something I think we need to do more of so we can bring more people in. So yeah, I am more than emphatic that we need to invest in that kind of consumer. At the same time, have the core consumer be a very important part of our next three to five years with the Xbox 360.


Peter Moore redeems himself at the Rock Band party

I guess obviously the big pre-news before E3 was the warranty extension.

Yup

How long have you guys been mulling that over?

Well as we stated, we've been watching the last couple of months the failure rate increase and it got to an unacceptable level and we put in motion a lot of logistical plans as well as calculation of what the real costs of getting through this problem is going to be. So it's been I guess, you know, I don't know, six weeks. I can't remember exactly when we started to do it, but it's somewhere in the region of a couple of months I guess.

(We've got about a minute left now, entire seconds of silence are flying by.)

Don't run out of questions!

We're trying! Alright, if you could pick your one game here, third party or otherwise, for Microsoft, what are you most excited about?

Mass Effect.

Mass Effect?

Yeah. Other than Halo 3.

Of course.

The obvious one.

What to you like about Mass Effect?

First of all I love the story, and I've had the pleasure of playing a lot of it over the last twelve months. As well as the unique dialogue system. I love the combat, and it's not a classic RPG in the traditional sense, and I've always been a huge fan of Bioware, so that would be the game that I'm most excited about.

(The bell rings, time to wrap it up.)

Alright. That's great. Thank you very much.

My pleasure guys, thank you.

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