Albert Penello, who leads the planning of Xbox One at Microsoft posted a note on why real dashboard videos have not been published, what are the differences between the published demo video and the actual product, his comments on the recent rumors about Xbox One SDK bugs, etc,.
1) Why a live demo of Xbox One dashboard was not posted?
Even though we have rights to populate the store with Musicians, Artists, Movies, Actors, etc. – when it comes to us (as in Microsoft) publishing those types of things for marketing materials, it requires an extensive amount of approvals from those same Studios, Actors, Agents, Musicians, etc.
Also whenever we use game footage, the creator of the game wants to approve the footage. And finally, when something like this gets created, it needs to be used in a variety of ways that a direct feed video doesn’t work for.
Coordinating a live demo that is using approved game footage, and making sure every piece of content on-screen is approved by all the content owners is a logistical nightmare. So all of those constraints means it’s better sometimes to create your own video with already approved assets. EVERYONE does this. Every ad, every video, from every company does this for the same reasons.
Now, those same sorts of rights aren’t applied to the press. So there is a huge difference in what WE can put online vs. what the press can put online. That’s why, right now, we have a ton of press in SF seeing new live game builds and new dash builds. I’m sure you’ll be hearing back from them about how close this video is.
2) Is there any differences between the video demo and the actual product?
Since people want to know, I will explain in detail the areas where this video differs from the real UI.
- The way the voice text gets created on-screen doesn’t work that way. It will appear as one block.
- The video assumes that the user ALREADY has a movie started (hence why Pacific Rim is in the middle of the film), and ALREADY has a game started. In that cause, the UI will switch that fast.
- The “Activity Feed” does not go over the UI like that, it snaps to the side
- When the player resumes Titanfall, obviously he would have to “unpause” the game or however the individual game deals with coming back up. But you can absolutely have a game paused, and use your voice to launch new apps exactly how the video does.
- The only egregious feature error is when the VO says “Xbox Share” or something similar. Now, the user would actually have to accept the notification or go to upload studio and share from there. We don’t share directly with voice.Besides those small nuances, the transitions, speed, movement and everything else is a pretty accurate. I think it’s a fine representation of the experience.
3) Regarding the recent rumors that Xbox One system and SDK is full of bugs..
As for all the other stuff blowing up over the weekend, I will make one small comment: There is a really bizarre phenomenon going on right now where the frenzy for news, drama, and behind-the-scenes dealings is clouding logic and reason. There is nothing going on behind the scenes nearly as interesting as everyone would like to believe. We are a month away from launch, and people are working hard to finalize the last of the bugs. There are still a lot things left to be done. We’re crunching and I’m sure Sony’s crunching too.
I know people are excited. I’m sorry but things are nowhere near as dire or dramatic or exciting as everyone would like to believe. That’s why I’m not commenting on every single random rumor that comes along, because everything I see is so drastically overblown vs. reality.