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Reddit AMA with Xbox One dev

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nhlducks35

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Mar 25, 2012
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http://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/1i71s5/i_am_an_xbox_one_dev_ask_me_almost_anything/

Confirmed to be a dev by the reddit mods I think (says Confirmed Xbox One Dev)

Obvious throwaway account. I won't be providing any proof or confirming/disproving rumors or anything that may give my identity away. Which is why I'm doing this in this subreddit. Believe what you will on what I say.
As an Xbox One OS dev, my brethens and I live and breath this stuff. We're salaried but anyone putting in 60hrs/week is nothing to brag about. Pull an all nighter from time to time, we feel good and give each other high fives. We take pride in our work and still have high hopes for what's yet to come. That being said, it's not like we don't read around the internet on what everyone is saying about the Xbox One, our policies, and our company. We do take the time to think about our policies, re-evaluate, and re-confirm that we're making logical and well thought out decisions. Honestly, a lot of us don't care about the bickering that's going on everywhere and all the time about which console is better. Personally, I just care about delivering the Xbox One with a quality bar that gamers deserve, that we deserve, because we're going to be playing this console too. I'm going to be putting one in my living room and enjoy the hell out of what this amazing piece of tech has to offer.
I'm doing this AMA because when I joined this subreddit, it was to see what reasons do people who agree with our vision give to support their choice. What games are people excited about? What innovative ways can people come up with to use the Kinect that we haven't thought of? Of course, to see people cheer for the product that I live my life in. More often than not, what I see are people who don't support the Xbox One spreading false information, albeit unintentionally. People talking like they're an expert on this stuff and but having not a single clue. This leads to the Xbox One fans frantically defending Microsoft and/or its policies, sometimes with more false information due to the mess of a job we did at revealing the console. Some of the reasons people voice against the Xbox One, I really don't understand. Maybe it's because I work so closely to the console, I know exactly how it works and why certain things are simply ridiculous. I don't know.
So ask me almost anything. If I don't reply, it most likely means to fully answer you I'll have to break NDA.
Edit: Exchanged proof to mods for custom flair.
Edit: As some one pointed out to me I should be more clear about my intent for being here. There's no way I can answer some of these questions without someone else on the team reading it and saying, "I know exactly who this guy is." All I can offer is insight on our culture, the way we think, and what why we implemented some of our policies.
Edit: Thank you all for coming here. Sorry I couldn't get to a lot of you as there are just too many questions. That and I really can't answer a lot of these. Though this ama I think now looks like a giant handbook of questions the public is interested in knowing as well as which topics are people more unclear on by show of the debates. Be assured the entire team will continue to work hard during this final stretch. Our goal is to deliver the XBox One with one of the best experiences you will ever enjoy.


Q: What was your reaction to the DRM reversal, and now this petition?
A: Personally I was a little surprised at the timeframe which we decided on the DRM reversal. I thought we didn't push on its benefits enough.The petition shows there are lots of people who want these benefits as much as I do and clearly our execs care or Marc Whitten wouldn't have referred to it in his IGN interview.

Q: Just one question, How loud is the console?
A: Almost inaudible. I run three at a time and they are drowned out by the fans in the desktops.

Q: How smooth is the interface right now with the snapping? can you snap between digital games or not? is the TV input lagging like it was in that wired interview?
A: Snapping is only available to certain apps such as IE, Skype, the game DVR upload tool, etc. Game titles cannot be snapped. I have not tried TV input but I did hook up a PC to the Xbox and watched netflix while I skyped someone.

Q: When you say games can't be snapped you mean you can't have them be the smaller view right? You can have other apps next to the game but you can't have IE with Killer Instinct as the smaller snap on the right. Am saying this because you guys showed Killer Instinct with Twitch side by side.
A: Yes, AAA titles cannot be snapped (shown in smaller view). IE can however be snapped to look up how to perform a combination while you play :).

Q: Was the family sharing how everyone imagined it to be like (sharing games with 10 people only 2 game play one at the same time) or was it glorified demos ?
A: It was for full games. Can't comment too much on this but its purpose was to eliminate the need to ever have to physically hand someone a game that you bought to share with them.

Q: Do you know anything about the rumor that Microsoft is upping the clock speed on the retail version? If you can't answer that, do you think that the Xbox One is at disadvantage with it's current specs compared to the PS4?
A: Can't comment on the rumor. The facts are on paper, the PS4 has better specs and the most you can debate is by how much. What I can tell you is I have played Forza, Killer instinct, and Ryse on the Xbox One. They look as good as the games I play on a high end PC. Ryse reminded me of darksiders II.
 

i-Lo

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Dec 23, 2008
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And finally we can put this rest with no more imbecilic rumours:

Can't comment on the rumor.
The facts are on paper, the PS4 has better specs and the most you can debate is by how much. What I can tell you is I have played Forza, Killer instinct, and Ryse on the Xbox One. They look as good as the games I play on a high end PC. Ryse reminded me of darksiders II.

Also surprising part about Kinect 2's cost being nearly the same as the box itself.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
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"Can't comment on the rumor.
The facts are on paper, the PS4 has better specs and the most you can debate is by how much.
What I can tell you is I have played Forza, Killer instinct, and Ryse on the Xbox One. They look as good as the games I play on a high end PC. Ryse reminded me of darksiders II."

"The majority of the masses care only about the console, except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make."

"As I mentioned earlier, I don't know what price point the Xbox One would be at without the Kinect, but it would be much less than 399.

I see it not as a market that no longer exists, but one that haven't been explored due to technological limitations."
 

uncledonnie

Banned
Mar 25, 2009
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It was for full games. Can't comment too much on this but its purpose was to eliminate the need to ever have to physically hand someone a game that you bought to share with them.

Seems to debunk at least indirectly that family sharing was a 1 hour demo. I hope it comes back.
 

badb0y

Member
May 20, 2013
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It was for full games. Can't comment too much on this but its purpose was to eliminate the need to ever have to physically hand someone a game that you bought to share with them.
They should have stuck with this for digital purchases...
 

hackdog

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May 27, 2013
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[–]Benf207 11 points 15 hours ago
Do you know anything about the rumor that Microsoft is upping the clock speed on the retail version? If you can't answer that, do you think that the Xbox One is at disadvantage with it's current specs compared to the PS4?
permalink
[–]XboxOneDevConfirmed XB1 Dev 41 points 14 hours ago*
Can't comment on the rumor.
The facts are on paper, the PS4 has better specs and the most you can debate is by how much. What I can tell you is I have played Forza, Killer instinct, and Ryse on the Xbox One. They look as good as the games I play on a high end PC. Ryse reminded me of darksiders II.
 

Manmademan

Member
Nov 3, 2006
30,679
2
945
this is really good PR. wouldn't be surprised if it actually WAS officially sanctioned, but presented this way to give it the appearance that it's not for authenticity.

no real surprises here.

The XboxOne revolves around kinect, it's far too integrated to ever remove. In addition microsoft has made promises to game developers that 100% of units will incorporate it.

game sharing was "full games" and DRM "had benefits" but no information outside of that.

There is no secret sauce, the PS4 is clearly more powerful. "how much" is the only thing up for debate.

It is interesting to see a company (non)spokesman engaging the community honestly to share how they view things and their vision for the system, rather than the clearly BS talking points and corporate arrogance we were getting before.
 

Kyon

Banned
Nov 6, 2010
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Death @ them admitting PS4 is stronger

Death @ them trying to push a so called "benefit" if DRM Goodbye

Also absolute Kii @ the Kinect costing more than the console. If this is true I'm screaming. So Kinect is more than $100 like XBone fans claim
 

Jack_AG

Banned
Feb 8, 2012
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Just the fact that this guy used the word "benefit" to describe DRM nullifies any point he was trying to make.

Holy sweet heavenly fuck MS has gone bananas.
 

Diprosalic

Banned
May 27, 2010
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Q: Just one question, How loud is the console?
A: Almost inaudible. I run three at a time and they are drowned out by the fans in the desktops.

if this is true and the ps4 is loud i might just buy a X1, even though i really really don't want to.
 

Manmademan

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Nov 3, 2006
30,679
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They should have stuck with this for digital purchases...

we already know that Sony tried this with the PS3 (unrestricted sharing between 5 accounts) and third parties were not happy with it and busted it down to 2. That program was 100% guaranteed to come with a lot of qualifiers and restrictions to that sharing, but we will never find out what they are as the program was scrapped.

As it is, microsoft has been trotting out the "it was really good, but you guys overreacted and now will never get it" line for some time now to make it appear that DRM "wasn't that bad." and we judged them unfairly. It's BS.
 
Q

Queen of Hunting

Unconfirmed Member
Let's cut to the chase. Were the yield rumours true? Are they still true? Is there any truth to the upgrade rumours?

Don't know, no official word within the company.

:D

What was everyones reaction at the office after the flaming outcry the day after E3?


It was quite moot. One of our execs had mentioned a Sony dev came up to him at E3 and told him you won the games, we won the gamers.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
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Q: Just one question, How loud is the console?
A: Almost inaudible. I run three at a time and they are drowned out by the fans in the desktops.
This is good to hear. It's expected due to the huge size of the fan, but loud consoles are annoying.
 

TheCloser

Banned
Mar 8, 2013
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Death @ them admitting PS4 is stronger

Death @ them trying to push a so called "benefit" if DRM Goodbye

Also absolute Kii @ the Kinect costing more than the console. If this is true I'm screaming. So Kinect is more than $100 like XBone fans claim

I agree with the bolded part. Its not something you ever want to publicly admit.
 

FINALBOSS

Banned
Apr 23, 2010
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Yes, AAA titles cannot be snapped (shown in smaller view). IE can however be snapped to look up how to perform a combination while you play :).

Posting this in this thread too.

Interesting and disappointing.
 

Immaculate

Banned
Mar 10, 2013
6,117
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Death @ them admitting PS4 is stronger

Death @ them trying to push a so called "benefit" if DRM Goodbye

Also absolute Kii @ the Kinect costing more than the console. If this is true I'm screaming. So Kinect is more than $100 like XBone fans claim
holy shit

Okay now I'm reading this
 

dragonelite

Member
Mar 9, 2010
12,131
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Just the fact that this guy used the word "benefit" to describe DRM nullifies any point he was trying to make.

Holy sweet heavenly fuck MS has gone bananas.

Some benefits were really handy if you ask me.
Buy cheapest physical copy if digital is more expensive.
Link it to your account and throw away the disk.
Im mostly a pc gamer maybe that is why i have preferences digital > physical.
Hell i lost most of my previous disk and casettes anyway im way to clumsy and loose disks easy.
 

iMax

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Dec 5, 2012
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www.neogaf.com
Interesting.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
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Also absolute Kii @ the Kinect costing more than the console. If this is true I'm screaming. So Kinect is more than $100 like XBone fans claim

Don't think it is just Xbone fan claim, but rather a logical assumption since the Kinect for 360 cost $120 (presumably sold with profit) or so, no?
If true... LOL
 

Salvor.Hardin

Banned
Apr 6, 2010
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Love this one:

What's the atmosphere like in the office? Fun? Relaxed? Big bureaucracy? When you come up with a genius new idea, how easy is it for you to make a pitch to your boss or to a different team (Kinect team, for example)?


[–]XboxOneDev Confirmed XB1 Dev 45 points 14 hours ago* (44|4)
The team is huge, almost 1000 people. Most people in Microsoft have their own offices, it's the way Microsoft have been since it started. For the Xbox team however, we have mostly large open spaces (thank Bungie for that), with the most senior people having their own offices. The average time employed at Microsoft to get your own office in the Xbox team is about 10 years. The division provides us free of charge a 24hour snack bar, dinner every day, and breakfast and lunch on the weekends if we choose to come in. In addition to that the team provides additional sustenance and booze whenever we all get together and show off what we did in the past couple weeks. There's no way I can throw in 60hours/week for the long term if the environment was overly stressful.
Almost every subgroup within the team works on something that is related to the Kinect in some way. I personally come in contact with 4 or 5 different subgroups in a day.
 

TheCloser

Banned
Mar 8, 2013
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I wish Sony would comment on the noise level of the PS4.

You could just wait till it releases and listen to other peoples comments but i doubt that it will be louder than the ps3 slim. The original slim and not the impostor that was just recently released.
 

1.21Gigawatts

Banned
Nov 24, 2012
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Hm.
Very interesting. Especially this one.

One of our execs had mentioned a Sony dev came up to him at E3 and told him you won the games, we won the gamers.

Sony acknowledged that their showing wasn't that impressive, games wise.
 

sneaky77

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Jan 15, 2008
8,245
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I don't see why they cannot keep the sharing for digital titles, thats a benefit to buying digital and enticing customers to move in that direction instead of the brute force DRM bs.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
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I agree with the bolded part. Its not something you ever want to publicly admit.
It's the same choice of words that Albert Penello used on here.

Given the rumored specs for both systems, can anyone conceive of a circumstance or decision one platform holder could make, where despite the theoretical performance benchmarks of the components, the box that appears “weaker” could actually be more powerful?

It's the new twist by Microsoft on the tale. Specs are meaningless. The part of the specs where we're weaker than the direct competition we might actually be stronger.

You guys are seriously buying that?
For iMax. Just read his post history. He takes anything said by Microsoft as gospel and severely distrusts insiders with a proven track record. Don't even bother engaging.
 

Salvor.Hardin

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Apr 6, 2010
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Okay so this is kind of a terrible AMA. He sounds like an MS spokesperson. He isn't commenting on anything that hasn't already been spoken for.
 
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It was quite moot. One of our execs had mentioned a Sony dev came up to him at E3 and told him you won the games, we won the gamers.

ICECOLD!!

I guess it was like: "yeah you bought all those 3rd party E3 exclusive showings just for nothing"
 

Manmademan

Member
Nov 3, 2006
30,679
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I don't see why they cannot keep the sharing for digital titles, thats a benefit to buying digital and enticing customers to move in that direction instead of the brute force DRM bs.

Simple. Third party devs don't like it, and would rather everyone buy their own copies at full price.

Microsoft obviously had an agreement in the works to allow the 10 person sharing group (whatever the details were). Now that the program is scrapped completely they need to come up with a new one AND have all of the majors sign on to it.

These things take time. you're likely talking something that requires an army of lawyers going over it with a fine toothed comb. Sony's approach is nearly the same one they've had since PS3 sharing was revised, which is why we know everything about that and nothing about microsoft's plans.
 

hawk2025

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Jan 20, 2013
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I don't buy the "family plan" answer. At all.

He says he won't say anything that may identify him, but then says he cannot talk about anything regarding the family plan-that-was-to-be.

Why? How could that possibly identify him if the plan was a robust, fully developed feature that certainly everyone would know about? Why would Major Nelson promise a blog post that never came while they 180'd? How come the actual details never surfaced afterwards, other than saying "it was full games! We promise!"?

I. Don't. Buy. It.
 
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