The Xbox One’s chief product officer has admitted that Microsoft need to get better at communicating with their customers.
Marc Whitten made the admission when discussing the petition that has recently been set up online, demanding Microsoft reverse their reversed decision on DRM for the new console.
“I think it’s pretty simple. We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is. The thing that’s really gratifying is that people are excited about the types of features that are possible, and it’s sort of shame on us that we haven’t done as good of a job as we can to make people feel like that’s where we’re headed.”
“The number one thing I want to do is I want to get the product out, because people are going to use it and obviously a lot of this is more evident, but certainly what I want to do right is now is talk more about how we thought about these features. How we thought about how Xbox Live works, how digital works. I see people feeling like we’ve moved away from digital, when certainly I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe we’ve added on choice for people. It was an addition of a feature onto Xbox One, not a removal of a feature. And I understand people see things like Family Sharing and they’re like, ‘Wow, I was really looking forward to that,’ which is more of an engineering reality time frame type-thing.”
“What it tells me is we need to do more work to talk about what we’re doing because I think that we did something different than maybe how people are perceiving it. When I read some of the things like that petition, from my perspective we took a lot of the feedback and, while Xbox One is built to be digital native, to have this amazing online experience, we realized people wanted some choice. They wanted what I like to call a bridge, sort of how they think about the world today using more digital stuff. What we did, we added to what the console can do by providing physical and offline modes in the console. It isn’t about moving away from what that digital vision is for the platform. It’s about adding that choice. Frankly, I think we need to just do more to let people see how the console works, what they’re going to be able to do for it. I think a lot of the things they’re wishing for are frankly there.”
Whitten added that he feels, despite the controversy surrounding the console, fans are still looking forward to it’s release.
“I feel like we have the best online gaming story that’s ever existed. When I look at how we built a system that’s built from the ground up to be amazing from a digital perspective, from being able to get updates and what we can do with the cloud and the cloud powering the experiences, to the way that you can switch between experiences, the way you can snap things together, what we’re doing with cloud achievements and challenges, I think people are going to really enjoy the experience. For us, with Xbox Live, we’ve spent the last more than a decade now really obsessing about what that play experience is. You look at things like how we’re thinking about reputation and how it impacts matchmaking or who gets into sessions, or how we’ve thought about things like Party Mode. For me that’s what makes Xbox special and that’s what’s really great about where we are with Xbox One.”
“There’s a lot I’m very proud about what we’ve done with Xbox One. The events were really good. The time we were walking around on stages, the things we were talking about, I think we got a lot of great reaction about the promise that comes from it. One of the things I think we learned was that we didn’t talk enough, and we were incomplete in a lot of how using the system would work. Because we weren’t participating in the conversation in a deep enough way, it got us sort of off cycle about how we talk about our program. I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons. And I think it’s something that you’re going to see a lot more from us, frankly, is engaging more with the community. I think it’s the number one thing I’d want to do if I went back, was have the conversation more open and more complete.”
The Xbox One is due to be released in November.