An interesting interview with Jeff Henshaw, executive producer for the Xbox Digital Entertainment Group by the Official Xbox Magazine people in the UK in which Mr. Henshaw goes over why the Xbox 360 is a more versatile and brand name independant product than what the competition is trying to push out.
OXM: Let’s play devil’s advocate for a second – people accuse Microsoft of trying to rule your living room by having everything connected through their systems. How would you respond to that?
Jeff Henshaw: Well, I’d say having everything connected sounds pretty great! It gives me the ability to get at my digital entertainment content in the ways I want to, and that’s not about ruling your living room. It’s about freeing digital media enthusiasts to live their lives in the way they want and access their entertainment in the way they want. That’s really what the Xbox 360 is all about. It’s about putting the gamer at the centre of the experience. If you look at our launch line-up you’ll see a lot of games that really put the gamer in the middle of things, and Xbox Live lets them take that persona they’re building through their gameplay into a broader community of gamers. We’re really all about thrilling the gamer.
But when we go into broader forms of entertainment the Xbox 360 handles that stuff in a very open and very connected way. If people have a PC at home with their digital music or digital photos on that PC the Xbox 360 lets them get at that content, wired or wirelessly. If you’re going to walk around with a digital device, whether it’s an iPod, a PSP, a Sony Camera, a Panasonic camera, whatever, to Xbox 360 it doesn’t matter. Whatever the device, Xbox 360 lets you get access to that content.
So for us it’s not about owning the living room. We don’t care what kind of TV you have. We don’t care what kind of digital audio player you have. We don’t care what kind of digital camera you’ve got. Xbox 360 works with everything. There are other companies out there that want you to own a brand ‘S’ console. They want you to own a brand ‘S’ TV and a brand ‘S’ digital audio player and a brand ‘S’ portable gaming device. To me, that looks more like trying to own your living room, trying to lock you into a single brand. That’s absolutely not what we’re about. We’re about partners and an open ecosystem where everyone can share content, regardless of what kind of device you have.
And we all know what brand ‘S’ stands for don’t we? (Hint: S-O-N-Y, okay, I know that was not a hint, but still, you should have figured it out sooner.)