New Major Nelson Xbox One Q&A Session From GameStop Expo

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Several Q&A sessions were done during this year’s GameStop Expo, one in particular had the Xbox Live community manager Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) answering some great press and fan asked questions about the Xbox One. Everything from SmartGlass, Kinect, HD remakes, and the dreaded Xbox 180 was covered. Near the beginning of the session, Nelson noted that he’s pushing for the return of Major’s Minute on the Xbox One. Some of the questions are direct from fans, so they aren’t the most informed, but the elaborate answers were surprising. Here’s some of the highlights from the recent Q&A:

– Is there going to be future HD Remakes like Halo 2 on the Xbox One?

Certainly, we saw the popularity (of HD remakes) on Xbox 360, we haven’t announced any, but I wouldn’t be surprised if developers were interested. There were so many great games that came out on the Xbox 360, and there’s certainly a handful that I’d like to see on Xbox One.

– Will I be able to use an external HDD on the Xbox One?

Eventually we’re going to support, just like we do today, external storage. I don’t believe that’s a feature we’ll have at launch, but that’s absolutely something we’re going to do…That’s one thing I really want to say about Xbox One, the team is committed to constantly updating it, you’ve seen over the past few years that we (Xbox Live) normally have a couple releases per year for the Xbox 360, we want to get into the same cadence with the Xbox One. 

– I know with the Kinect that it has voice recognition, what other features of the Kinect will be used in games?

Kinect has an amazing array microphone…There’s one (application of Kinect) , I can’t remember which one it is that Phil Spencer was telling me about. Where the Kinect sensor is used to tell how much light is in the room, and if there’s less light (darker), there’s more enemies that come after you. This gets to the point of a question earlier, ‘why not have it (Kinect) unbundled?’ When developers can make sure it’s (Kinect) in the box, they can do cool things and spend engineering time to do cool things.

– What are you going to do to repair your relationship with gamers that didn’t appreciate the flip-flop? Changing always online and the Kinect camera not being necessary for the console to perform?

…We’re very focused on what’s right for the gamer. We’re constantly trying to make the game system better. We want to make this the best game system you are going to own for the next ten years (Xbox One lifecycle projection?). 

– Back when the Xbox One was announced and always online and Kinect was a larger focus, now that you’ve changed these things, are you happy that the fans have come back around, or are you sad because you weren’t able to realize your end all goals from when you started?

We’re happy that people are happy, but the beauty of this is with software is we can certainly change and develop and add things in the future, just like we did with Xbox 360. We have not deviated from our vision. We still want to go forward and give you, the gamers the most flexible, most powerful system we can and let you game the way you want with the people you want. It’s kind of a double edged sword, but certainly we’ve got a lot of features we’re excited about we’re just gonna put em’ over here, we’re going to ship the console , we’re going to look at this list and we’re going to start adding them back in.

– The current Kinect sensor needs a large space to be able to play games, has there been an improvement on the new model?

Absolutely, it got a much wider field of view. The point is (gets off stage into crowd) I’ve used the sensor about three feet away….we can even see the blood moving in your body, it’s wild. Think of what developers could do with that! They could tell when you’re frightened and throw more enemies at you.

– With Don Mattrick leaving for Zynga and Ballmer retiring in the next year, can we expect the changes to negatively impact the Xbox brand?

No, the people that in charge of Xbox One like Marc Whitten, Phil Spencer, and Yusuf Medhi those are the three guys that have the vision, when you talk to Marc about the vision of Xbox One, he’s the guy that’s responsible for it. Those changes are going to happen in the company, we are not deviating from delivering you an amazing system, we’re going to continue to do that. 

– We used to get a lot of complaints about the RROD (Gamestop employee) we were wondering if the Xbox One had any notable problems?

We are 100% focused on making sure this box will stay on for years at a time under your TV. It is a little bit bigger than our competitors because we really focused on making sure it stays cool, it has really advanced systems in it that as you need more power it can go up and down, it’s really sophisticated. 

– Is it going to be easy to go from playing my Xbox 360 to my Xbox One?

Crazy easy, you sign in with your Microsoft ID and boom, you’re in. And right now, I think they’re going to keep this in there, I think you can play on your Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the same time. 

A few of the explanations went far and away beyond what was necessary to answer a simple question, and for that I gained tremendous respect for Major Nelson and the Xbox brand. The fact that Microsoft is looking to slowly pepper in some of the features that were lost to appease the vocal gamer community is right in line with a comment I made near the end of our post E3 staff discussion. What do you think about the Xbox One leading up to it’s impending holiday release?

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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