IGN with 3 Xbox bosses discuss the history of Xbox

“Current head of Xbox Phil Spencer joins former head Peter Moore, Xbox creator Seamus Blackley, and Podcast Unlocked host Ryan McCaffrey in a tell-all roundtable discussion about the beginnings of Xbox, the race to beat the PS3 to market, and the importance of games like Gears of War.”

This panel interview goes for 90 minutes. For the first 5 minutes I was a little worried that 90 minutes would be way too long (especially after they empty their six ounce cups of beverage), and that Moore and Blackley would be largely ignored while Phil does all the talking. And then it seems like Phil’s going to stay quiet for the whole thing. But he becomes much more animated a half hour in and the conversation just gets more and more interesting. All three bosses really do provide a lot of great insight to the conversation.

You get a lot of good stories about the culture of the industry at the time of the original Xbox launch, the personnel involved, console and game competition, the business decisions regarding hardware and software focus and costs, the launch of Live, problems like Red Ring of Death, behind the scenes stories of E3 briefings (and the code word “Broken Arrow”), favorite games, games that were cancelled, in-engine vs cgi promos, etc.

It’s really fascinating from a business standpoint, everyone should watch it all the way through.

The bit about Steve Ballmer and the decision to correct the RROD situation, has earned him a ton of respect from me.

Overall it’s an interesting interview, and learning about the culture at Microsoft when the Xbox was pitched was entertaining.