Phil Harrison on Xbox One: core gaming, mass market entertainment and longevity

Friday, 24th May 2013 01:10 GMT By Naren Hooson

In the wake of the Xbox One reveal, many are seeking clarification on the direction the console is heading. Microsoft’s corporate vice president Phil Harrison discusses some of the choices made with the next-gen console

Courtesy of Computer and Videogames, Harrison talks about preowned games, the “always online” issue, balancing core gaming with entertainment and the longevity of the console.

On the issue of preowned games, Harrison suggests it doesn’t change from the current model. “I can come to your house with that disc, I can install it on your machine and we can play it and while I’m with you we can have all of the capabilities of that game. The moment I go home and notionally take that disc with me, you no longer have the ability to play that game. But the ‘bits’ are on your hard drive, so if you want to play that game you can buy it – you can go to the online store, buy it and it’s instantly unlocked and playable on your machine. All of the privileges I just described in my house would now apply in yours as well.”

In terms of the console needing to be “always online”, Harrison clarifies that this impacts only uniquely online game features and doesn’t see this as a big factor. “If your internet connection is interrupted because of a local outage, many, but not all, of the features of the game content you own you will be able to use, but not all because some of them are uniquely online experiences.”Blu-ray movies and other single-player games that don’t require an internet connection to Xbox Live will work. I think it is pretty rare of an outage of local internet connectivity to be more than a few seconds or minutes, so I don’t expect it will ever impact on somebody’s ability to use the system.”

Many feel that Microsoft are moving away from core gaming with this console but Harrison is certain a balance can be found. “Yes it is possible to find a balance but I don’t think it’s possible to do it within the constraints of a one hour presentation. I think what you saw today was very much the platform, vision and direction for all Xbox One entails, which is games, TV being made super intelligent and entertainment all co-existing inside one device with seamless switching between them, which is just amazing to see in action.”

“With Xbox One the ability to quickly move between applications will, we think, increase your curiosity and the amount of things you will play and experience – because it’s seamless, instant and simple,” he states, pointing at the enhanced all-in-one features of the next-gen console.

“The strategy of an all in one entertainment lead device was one of the motivating factors to get me to join this team. Because I really believe in the strategy and I really love the implementation in not just the hardware but the services, and the ambition of where it will go in years. So yeah, I feel really good about it and really proud to be in the team making it happen.”

He also believes the console will have an even longer lifespan than its predecessor. “Architectural decisions, the hardware design, the service design, connectivity to the cloud and the fact that that gives us even more future proofing… I think that will not only extend the generation in terms of time but it potentially significantly expands the reach of this generation in terms of the numbers of people who can feel that Xbox One is for them.”



  1. ps3fanboy

    Xbox One longevity = zero, there you have it mister Phil Harrison you fuckup… now get outta the way. a real gaming console called PS4 is coming.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. mkotechno

    TL;DR version:
    This is our annoying DRM system, is like Steam but with physical media prices and resell taxes, if you don’t like it go and f*** yourself because we know what people want and how people want it because we are the next gen. In addition our console is going to last 10 years. We are the new arrogant Sony of 2005.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Bill_E_Talent

    “I think it is pretty rare of an outage of local internet connectivity to be more than a few seconds or minutes, so I don’t expect it will ever impact on somebody’s ability to use the system.”

    Phil, you’re living in a bubble.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. heyvc

    “I think it is pretty rare of an outage of local internet connectivity to be more than a few seconds or minutes, so I don’t expect it will ever impact on somebody’s ability to use the system.” – IN THE US maybe… ‘–

    In my country I can be a Whole day without internet and another whole day talking to the company on the phone trying to restore it. :/

    That HARDCORE talk is up since KINECT “WE GOT THEM COVERED” … But it seems for them “CALL OF DUTY DLCS OUT FIRST ON XBOX” is get us COVERED They even did that on this lame Press Conference. They ENDED with It… thinking it ended with a BANG. I Hope E3 will show me wrong.

    If all these things about ALWAYS on and USED games are discarded AND said so by Sony… They won a big market… man even something simple as the xbox having only HDMI output is going to make a difference… Lots of people in a lot of countries does not HAVE HDMI.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. kart_racer3

    I live in a rural area and every time a rainstorm moves through I can lose my internet connection for the rest of the day (faulty outside lines I believe). I’d be interested to know how much this would affect my gaming on the Xbox One.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. mkotechno

    I still cannot believe the “always online” rumors are true… well, finally is “every 24 hours you must be online” but in fact is the same… There is a lot of people in the world with no internet at all or with very limited one.

    Microsoft being Microsoft I guess, this is the real MS we know since 25 years ago.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. WanderingAim

    So I can share the game with my friend if I am physically there, fine. But how does that work if you have multiple users with different profiles in the same house? For example, if I buy a game and my kids want to play it on their profile, will it work as it does now or because the initial install is tied to my profile, will I need to pay/do something extra to allow them to use it? I haven’t seen anyone address this question.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. fearmonkey

    Am I the only one that thinks its hilarious to see Ps3fanboy talk smack to Phil “former Sony vice president” Harrison?

    No offense to you Ps3fanboy, it just seems funny as he was the guy who always showed the Ps2 and PS3 tech demos at E3.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. mkotechno

    @8 3 accounts 3 games 200$, welcome to the XboxOne.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Christopher Jack

    I don’t think the Xbox One succeed if they can’t sway the core gamers* back. I think Microsoft are going to rely on CoD & Halo for this but for their sake I hope they don’t over rely on them.
    *Directly, I don’t think core gamer alone make up the majority, however I do believe they certainly have a fairly significant influence on it. I mean how many of us here have recommended a game or console or have been encouraged by another savvy gamer?

    I’d love the ability to install a game so that I no longer need the disk however I’d prefer that to be optional, I’d still like to launch a game directly from the disk if I can. I understand there needs to be some line so you can’t simply take your game disk then install the game on hundreds of different consoles but I think MS is taking the wrong approach.
    I think a sort of activation/deactivation process with perhaps a specific key that is shared with the disk (so that you couldn’t play the same game on multiple consoles at the same time) but could still take the disk around to another console without being able or needing to install it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Bomba Luigi

    Look Phil, when I’m lending someone one of my Games, I’m not going with the Game. I give him the Disc, he take it Home, I go to my Home. So It does changes, because the Disc I lend him, he can only play Frisbee with that usless thing.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. salarta

    @4: Not even in the United States. Phil is quite simply an idiot if he can look at the news, see reports of hurricanes and tornadoes across the country, and say to himself “Oh yeah, outages are extremely rare.” And that’s talking about getting basic electricity, which is a requirement of having an internet connection. That’s not even dealing with when someone’s modem is shot or some other technical issue and they need the company to send someone on over a week later to fix it. Phil basically comes off like the equivalent of a billionaire wondering why common folk don’t wipe their asses with dollar bills too.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Docker Al

    Who the fuck wants to constantly switch between movies, television, Skype, apps and the net when they are gaming? They’ve gimped the graphics performance, versus the PS4, for this crap? What is wrong with these clowns? Microsoft will fall to the third console curse for sure. Fucking retards.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. lookingglass

    After the MS conference, the look on everyone in the gaming world’s face was one of abandonment and betrayal more than anything else.

    You thought everything on stage was awesome. As you watched you were like, “Ah man, that would be pretty cool.”. But at some point you realized a console was going mainstream. You wanted a clash of the gaming titans so you could discuss and debate on the Internet the merits of each and revel in the small world of gaming you love so much. It wasn’t going to be yours forever. Get over it. MS will make or break gaming this generation. Buy a PS4. But you had better hope MS makes it. If it doesn’t. Expect gaming to die.

    #14 2 years ago

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