Some of the key men behind the launch of the first Xbox in 2001 relived, in a lengthy interview with Bloomberg , those fast-paced games and the design choices that led to the final form of the console – and its controversial controller, the huge “Duke”.
Aaron Greenberg, now general manager of Xbox game marketing, admitted that at the time the challenge of launching a product built that way, even if only from a visual perspective, in the demanding was underestimated. Japan .
«In focus groups, consumers in Japan held the original Duke controller in their hands and said ‘it’s so big’ » , said Greenberg.
« They were very keen to keep things compact. Our mindset was, how do we go about developing a global console business but are we successful in Japan at the same time?
We were a little naive about how complicated it would be “.
The complicated relationship with Japan is something that Microsoft is still working on, although it has much deeper motivations than a simple controller.
Todd Holmdahl, head of hardware, commented on the controller that “some might say it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but it was really iconic “.
The pad was indeed iconic, to the point that it recently returned in a new modern version to celebrate the ambitiousness of that design.
Curiously, Peter Moore – who with Xbox 360 would have become head of Xbox but at the time of the first console was in charge of SEGA in America – said that « we used to call him “Incredible Hulk” because he was big and green ».
Aside from the jokes and the initial distrust, however, Moore explained that already at the time « there was an awareness that this was a company that would take us sooner or later. What if Gates, Ballmer, etc. they were really convinced that this would be a market in which they had to be, they had all the resources, the talent, the expertise and the long-term patience to make it “.
Twenty years and three consoles later, it seems, the efforts of those days, and the many errors that have occurred (at least) up to Xbox One, it would seem that that awareness was well justified.
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