Xbox One’s System Designer On Meeting Core Gamer Expectations
We’ve heard a ton about Mark Cerny and his efforts as lead system architect on the PlayStation 4 console. But what about Xbox One‘s Carl Ledbetter? Ledbetter was tasked with designing a brand new Xbox. A daunting challenge by today’s standards. Given the shift in focus at Microsoft, putting together a new Xbox that would deliver to the entire audience was one of Ledbetter’s main worries,
“There was this conundrum in that we had to meet and satisfy desires of core gamers and Xbox fans, and at same time we wanted Xbox to reach out and mean something to new people. From a design perspective, how do we make that happen? That was a big challenge.”
This challenge was highlighted not once, but twice last year. When Xbox One was first revealed to the masses, the message simply wasn’t clear that this console cared about it’s core audience. When E3 rolled around, progress was made, but it was clear that Xbox One’s current direction wasn’t something the gaming populace was ready for.
After E3 concessions had to be made to appeal to the audience that helped make Xbox one of the most recognizable brands in gaming. After some very meaningful changes were made to the way Xbox One would interact with it’s audience, momentum started to grow once again.
When November 22nd rolled around, Ledbetter stood outside of a Seattle Microsoft Store anonymously with an enormous crowd. The freezing cold did little to deter the Xbox faithful. After Ledbetter picked up his brand new Xbox One console he remarked,
“It’s definitely one of those big moments in life.”
Sometimes it’s easy for folks to become cynical and not recognize the truly remarkable people that invest years of their life into making something you’ll enjoy for years to come.
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