Interview with Ryan Mugford from Microsoft



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Thursday September 27, 2001

Interview with Ryan Mugford from Microsoft

Microsoft held a conference at the Omni Hotel formally the Four Seasons Hotel in Montreal with a selected small group of the media Tuesday September 25 afternoon. It was the first conference done in Canada concerning the Xbox. Ryan Mugford the Marketing Lead from Microsoft came to show us the latest built on their new racing game called Project Gotham Racing and to explain the Xbox in more detail.

First was there a specific reason for the date being change for 15 instead of the 8 of November for the launch? No, numerous factors was involved in the decision and we concluded that it would be best for everyone if we pushed back the date for 1 week.

Ryan showed us that it is simple to operate the Xbox just press the start button then the menu comes up so you can choose your game. Then he explained to us in detail how and why the controller was conceived that way. Microsoft did a lot of test with different controller they changed it so it would have more functionality and be comfortable if you were to play a long time with it.

I asked him why is it so big? Ryan said that this controller is geared towards the people of 16- 28 years old that is why it is a little bigger then others. Then I mentioned the Japanese one - In Japan Microsoft released a smaller version for that market - are you going to sell both in North America ? Microsoft is considering it but it not sure if it will or not bring the smaller version in North America. But Ryan added that some hardware companies will put on the market different type and sort of controllers. And as for the wireless they did not do one because they did not want the controller to be to heavy and that again other companies will do some.

But what they did do is have a 9 feet long wire with it with a safety plug meaning if your kids or your cats and dogs get entangle with he wire it will just unplug itself so that the whole console is not dragged off the shelf or fall to the floor.

2 more thing they added to it first when you play a racing game the trigger are your accelerator and your break so after a while of driving your tomb is not tired and the same goes with fighting game. 2 more buttons were added one black one white on the top of the regular one to give it more functionality like programming more moves for fighting games.

Concerning the weight of the Xbox it is approximately the one of a VCR and as for what kind of engine is inside Ryan was explaining to me that they splited it in 3. The processor is an Intel 733mhz chip and the XGPU - Xbox Graphic Processor Unit - is 3D processor that contains more then 60 millions transistors from NVIDIA and as for the sound it will feature the new Dolby Interactive Content Encoder, a breakthrough technology that dynamically encodes multichannel audio into Dolby Digital 5.1.

Plus since it has a large hard drive it can hold about 2500 songs in memory. Developers are now working on how to utilize and intergrade that feature in future games. Meaning that when you clear a level in a game that one of your favorite song can be played in a bonus level or that when you play the game get random songs saved on your hard drive for it soundtrack.

Then I got to play the latest built on their new racing game called Project Gotham Racing being developed by Bizarre Creations. Click on the name to see the preview but one thing that set this game apart from others  is that it is the first racing game with license cars that can be damage never before this was allowed.

Are you planning to sign more licenses for the Xbox? Yes we are planning to sign more like the Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon

Microsoft has not yet announced the entire list of titles to be release for the launch but here is a list of what has been confirm by the third parties to us and we will add them has they are confirmed in the next few weeks. We can expect between 15 to 20 games to be release on the 15 on November for the launch

Thank you to Ryan for your time plus Johanne, Peggy, Mélanie, Maria and Linda for arranging this interview .

- LadyDragon -


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