Really great podcast with heads of Xbox at IGN

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Humanity

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Over at IGN they have a wonderful podcast with past and present heads of xbox talking very candidly about the history of the brand. Seamus Blackley the person behind the original Xbox shares his stories about how it all got started - for instance that the entire reason for the Xbox green color scheme was simply because the artist who did the mockups only had a green marker left. Peter Moore recounts the much talked about red ring of death era of Xbox 360, and Phil Spencer rounds out the talks with what Xbox is trying to do now.

Really great stories and it was interesting to see just what a team leader Peter Moore was over at Microsoft during his time at the helm.

Listen to it: HERE

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colourful_hippie

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I'm liking the lack of Don Mattrick

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Insectecutor

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Does it feature J Allard?

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GERALTITUDE

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#4  Edited By GERALTITUDE

@insectecutor: nope, but it has the following:

  • Seamus Blackley, creator of the Xbox
  • Peter Moore, Head of Xbox during 360 years
  • Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox right now

I was just going to post a thread about this. Really excellent stuff.

Super transparent in a lot of ways, lots of great stories and tons of numbers you wouldn't expect.

@colourful_hippie: Ahhh duder that's an unfortunately common perspective. I hope by listening to this podcast you realize Don Mattrick was just one cog among many and that the hate he receives to this day is largely ignorant, as if one individual makes any real decisions at Microsoft (they don't). Blackley and Moore both admit to committing errors which would have eaten them alive had social media existed (3 red lights, big-ass controllers, awful sales, etc). Phil Spencer was a decision maker when all the bad Xbox One decisions were made, and he's said straight up that he deserves some of the anger too.

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@geraltitude: Yah I sat down to watch like 10 minutes of this and ended up watching the entire thing. Seamus who is the most removed from Microsoft was the most candid and honest about all that stuff.

I own a PS4 this generation but listening to these guys makes it sound like this isn't just some big corporation out to screw you over as most people try to make them out to be, but that there are a lot of people who genuinely care about the fans. It sort of makes me want to go out and get an XB1 as crazy as it sounds because of the humanizing aspect of the whole podcast.

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CaLe

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Just got done listening to this, absolutely loved every minute of it. It's rare to get insight into this sort of stuff so when it does come along it's like.. well, it's just good to listen to dammit.

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csl316

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Nice, downloading now.

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Humanity

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@cale: Yah I think insinde baseball for this industry is so rarely discussed in the open that any chance you can get at it is a real treat.

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trucksimulator

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This is something I normally would expect from Giant Bomb. There are some legitimately funny stories in this.

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Marshall109

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I could listen to Peter Moore talk all day. That guy is one hell of a story teller and his bit about meeting with Ballmer over Red Ring of Death is fascinating.

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Deathstriker

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I heard them talk to Spencer, I'll have to checkout the other guys. Interesting content coming from IGN? Hell must have frozen over. Their movies and TV departments are good, their video game guys were annoying and it seems like they always have at least one stock "hot girl in a tank top", but maybe they're changing. No more Greg Miller is nice.

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deactivated-5b031d0e868a5

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It appears we've got a weird twin thread for this exact topic - still following your recommendation it was awesome so thanks!

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notnert427

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Phil Spencer comes off really well in these sorts of things. It's hard not to like that guy, and I really respect that the Xbox division with him at the helm is making a concerted effort to open the doors a bit, consider positive/negative feedback, and just generally to get on the same page with gamers. They're cutting through a lot of the b.s. and removing what has previously been a serious feeling of disconnect between a monolithic company and your average gamer. It certainly helps that Spencer is clearly passionate about the Xbox, and the fact that he makes efforts to view it as both a senior exec and as someone who fires up his own Xbox One in his spare time is awesome. One of us, one of us...

I nerd out on the business side of things, too, so hearing some of the behind-the-scenes stuff is cool. Having to tell Ballmer we've got a $1.1 billion problem with the RROD is fucking intense. Oh man. I wish Mattrick had been involved in this podcast from a popcorn-eating point of view, because he always came off as really stodgy and out-of-touch. That he 1) wasn't a part of this podcast and 2) seems to be almost taboo to discuss even now somewhat confirms that his tenure was every bit the dumpster fire it seemed to be from the outside looking in. It seems like Spencer had to basically change the whole culture when he took over (or was simply left with no other option after the early missteps with the Xbox One).

That the Xbox One even recovered from the early PR trainwreck is fairly remarkable. It's always been a solid console for the most part, but they dug themselves a huge hole in terms of reputation (deservedly) with the bungled launch. They've scratched and clawed their way out of it by listening to their fanbase and adding a ton of substance. It's now a fantastic system, and I largely credit Spencer for making it that way. Yeah, it's a bit reductive to focus on just upper management in a giant company like MS, but they set the tone, and I damn sure love the tone of what they've done with the Xbox One of late. Spencer should be proud of it. He's the exact kind of person I want running the Xbox division, and I'm excited for its future with him steering the ship.