Next-Gen Gamer Interviews John Porcaro
Posted by Aaron on Friday, April 13, 2007
This is a big day for Next-Gen Gamer we have our very first interview! Who is it? It is John Porcaro from Microsoft. Who is John Porcaro you may ask? John Porcaro is a Sr. Group Manager in Microsoft’s Global Games Marketing Team, managing Online Communications. His team is responsible for Online Community for Xbox and Games for Windows. He’s been at Microsoft since 1990, where he’s been a Product Manager, Channel Marketing Manager, Communications Manager, and Events Manager, mostly working in our Consumer Division (currently called Entertainment & Devices Division).
He talks about the upcoming 360 spring update(why no 1440×900/1680×1050 and divx/xvid support in this update), the newly announced Text Input Device(TID) and is Microsoft really forcing developers to make customers pay for Xbox Live Marketplace downloads? To read about all of that and more click the link below!
Next-Gen Gamer: After the announcement about the Spring Update I visited a few gaming sites and their forums to see what the initial buzz about the update would be and it looks like people are very excited for the update. However I see some people are disappointed because 1440×900/1680×1050 and divx/xvid are not supported in this update. Are there any plans to support these two features in future updates?
John Porcaro: I can’t really comment on any new features that we haven’t announced, but the team working on the core console update features are always listening to the community about what features should be considered. There are often other things they need to consider when prioritizing features for an update, including value to customers and the amount of work required.
Next-Gen Gamer: Back in February a German gaming site posted a story that said Microsoft has provided a software update for debug Xbox360 boxes that reduces the speed of the Xbox360 DVD drive and that consumer 360 owners will be getting this update. Is that true?
John Porcaro: There’s a long list of rumors and speculation involving our products. You can add this story to that list. 🙂
Next-Gen Gamer: Are there any features you personally would like to see added to the next Dashboard update that is currently not a feature?
John Porcaro: We addressed this in a podcast we recorded this week. I’d love to be able to add my own “name” to help me remember who all my friends are. I’ve always thought it would be cool to be able to have more than a hundred names on my ‘friends’ list. Although that limit is still in place, with the addition of Windows Live Messenger to Xbox 360 I’m now going to be able to communicate with up to 600 additional friends from my Windows Live Messenger ‘contacts’ list.
Next-Gen Gamer: Are there any cool upcoming features coming to the 360 & XBL you can talk about?
John Porcaro: Not without losing my job. 🙂
Next-Gen Gamer: How long has the Text Input Device been in the works?
John Porcaro: Some development projects happen quickly, but hardware usually takes a while once the concept is approved and prototypes have been created. Manufacturing can sometimes take longer than software too.
Next-Gen Gamer: What is the release date for the Text Input Device?
John Porcaro: We’ve said it’s coming this summer, but we have no date set yet.
Next-Gen Gamer: Has a price been set for the Text Input Device? If so how much?
John Porcaro: Not set yet.
Next-Gen Gamer: Now that the Text Input Device has been announced does this mean that we could see things like a web browser come to the 360 or perhaps could games support the TID like a MMO game?
John Porcaro: We’ve been told that we’ll make support for TID available at the platform level. But it will be up to individual game developers/publishers in terms of whether or not they choose to integrate support for TID into a game.
Next-Gen Gamer: According to this article when the Xbox 360 Elite launches in Europe the European version of the video marketplace will launch also. Can you comment on this?
John Porcaro: We haven’t said anything publicly about this, but there are several people looking into making Video Marketplace as widely available as possible. There are lots of issues dealing with international distribution, contracts with content providers, etc., that make it a lot more complicated than it is with just one country. We definitely hear the feedback, and we know everyone outside the US will love the service.
Next-Gen Gamer: Can you comment on the article in the April issue of Game Informer about Microsoft forcing developers to make customers pay for Xbox Live Marketplace downloads? Is this true? Will we be seeing the end of free content on the Marketplace?
John Porcaro: Prices are set by the publisher. While Microsoft provides pricing guidelines and tiers, ultimately the publisher prices their content.
Thank you John for taking the time to answer those questions!
Stay tuned to Next-Gen Gamer because hopefully in the coming weeks we will have another exclusive interview.
HINT: They are working on a PS3 exclusive game and it comes out this year. Can you guess who it might be? 😀 🙂