IRC Chat, January 6, 2001, channel #msxbox
Moderated by
All times are EST

 Seamus Blackley (Xbox Advanced Technology Group Manager)    Jeff Henshaw (Xbox Program Manager)
 Incabrain (Xbox site webmaster)    J Allard (Xbox General Manager)

11:14 AM:sol_msxbox:Guys, the room is moderated now, only ops and Seamus can talk
11:14 AM:Nitros_MSXbox:yep
11:14 AM:Seamus_Xbox:So you guys can help me to curb my incredible nervousness by making me answer a couple questions, then I'll introduce the star of this show, mr Allard!
11:14 AM:sol_msxbox:he's going to answer a few questions
11:14 AM:sol_msxbox:So, Seamus can you give us a preview of what's going today
11:15 AM:sol_msxbox:?
11:15 AM:Seamus_Xbox:Well, we're showing what the box looks like to the public for (almost) the first time, and announcing a couple games, and I'm showing somde game demos.
11:15 AM:sol_msxbox:Nice red shoes, btw!
11:16 AM:Seamus_Xbox:Yeah, I have on these bringht red shoes that might actually short out the video equipment.
11:16 AM:sol_msxbox:but wouldn't green have matched better ?
11:16 AM:sol_msxbox:<g>
11:16 AM:Seamus_Xbox:Gee, some of the PR people seem to have picked up on that as well.
11:17 AM:sol_msxbox:What do you think todays presentation is going to do to help bring the Xbox more into the mainstream?
11:18 AM:Seamus_Xbox:I think that it makes Xbox REAL for gamers. We have been talking to developers for a long time to ensure that we have *KICK ASS* games...
11:19 AM:Seamus_Xbox:And now we get to show a real box with real games and for the first time people will get to see what Xbox is from the gamer end. Which is the most important thing!
11:20 AM:sol_msxbox:We know you gotta head out now, but before you go, how many hours are you working these days each day?
11:20 AM:Seamus_Xbox:I'll put it this way... the reason I went to Tokyo 14 times this year was NOT really to visit developers, it was to gain the extra hours by crossing the dateline :)
11:20 AM:sol_msxbox:lol :)
11:20 AM:sol_msxbox:ok thanks for talking with us
11:22 AM:Seamus_Xbox:No problem man, it's all about the games and the gamers. Before J comes on, let me introduce Jeff Henshaw, Xbox program manager! See you guys! Thanks for coming!
11:22 AM:sol_msxbox:Hey Jeff, how are you?
11:22 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Thanks Sol!
11:22 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:I'm great...the whole Xbox team is really excited to see the reactions today!
11:23 AM:sol_msxbox:We know you've been a regular at msxbox for some time now, so how do you feel about how the Xbox has been preceived thus far?
11:23 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Frankly, its been amazing. Just look at the number of people here today, for example. We know that it is totally up to us to deliver the best gaming experience anywhere.
11:24 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Interacting with the fans here is incredibly cool, too.
11:24 AM:sol_msxbox:Before we got any further, can you tell us what it is you do at Microsoft?
11:25 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Sure. I run the Xbox Development Kit (XDK) and core software teams. We deliver the goods so that game developers can rock on the Xbox platform.
11:26 AM:sol_msxbox:Sweet, so the developers have phase 1 development kits?
11:27 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:We're constantly delivering tools, support, hardware, software and more to developers. It's a very tight loop between the Xbox team and them.
11:27 AM:sol_msxbox:Or have they already moved on to NV20-based ones already?
11:27 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:I'll just say this: Xbox game developers have some of the latest graphics technology on the PLANET!
11:27 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:or off the planet, for that matter...
11:28 AM:sol_msxbox:The footage I saw on the widescreen looked totally great
11:28 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Great you liked it. I think that there are going to be a whole lot of people who are blown away by what they see today. It's all about theh games, and games we've got as of now!
11:29 AM:sol_msxbox:We can't say what is going to be shown just yet, but soon...
11:30 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:It's a matter of minutes. At 9:15PST, everyone should hit for the live Webcast from CES.
11:31 AM:sol_msxbox:Jeff, what is the coolest thing you've seen done with the development kits so far? (despite them being early kits)
11:32 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Probably the most exciting thing I've seen was a studio take their quite-well-evolved engine and most of their character movement (including T&L, physics engine), and move forward to a newer update of the XDK in LESS THAN 10 HOURS.
11:33 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:It blew me away at how successful we were with providing better tools and better support, and a platform that developers love. That kind of progress is unheard of elsewhere.
11:33 AM:sol_msxbox:That has to do with the ease and familiarity developers have with DirectX, right?
11:34 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Partly. It also has to do with developers knowing (and loving) the tools we provide, and just as much with us being able to turn around answers to their questions in a matter of minutes.
11:35 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:We basically live to keep developers rockin'.
11:35 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:...and you'll see some of the early results today.
11:35 AM:sol_msxbox:too cool, and the end result becomes kick(er) ass games
11:36 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Kicker-ass isn't even near the goal. We want Xbox games to completely redefine what people perceive as possible with console gaming.
11:36 AM:sol_msxbox:Can you give us a ballpark # of kits shipped to developers thus far?
11:37 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:PR usually beats me to a bloody pulp if I start naming names or quoting numbers. But they aren't here right now, so I'll say that it's over 1500.
11:37 AM:incabrain_Xbox:PR is watching you! :)
11:38 AM:incabrain_Xbox whips out a hammer.
11:38 AM:sol_msxbox:Incarbrain is the webmaster, btw
11:38 AM:sol_msxbox:We'll be talking to him next for a bit
11:38 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Can't talk...PR breaking my fingers....
11:39 AM:Steve_ArbCom holds fingers down <grin>
11:39 AM:sol_msxbox:1500, that's pretty amazing, if my math is correct and there's probably close to 300 developers, give or take, then that's an avg of 5 per developer
11:40 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:<no comment>, Sol. Your math skills are pretty good, though!
11:40 AM:Steve_ArbCom tightens Jeffs thumbscrews
11:40 AM:sol_msxbox:thanks!, I've got a math problem that I'll ask J later on
11:40 AM:sol_msxbox:it has to do with MGS
11:41 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:I hope it doesn't have to do with "How many drinks are too many, J?" He can't answer that one.
11:41 AM:sol_msxbox::)
11:42 AM:sol_msxbox:What's the most fun thing you do during the day, Jeff (that question is from Seamus and he says you better have a funny answer)
11:43 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Well, then it is of course talking to game developers! Seriously, getting to talk about them with their ideas and concepts, and then help make them reality...its a damn cool job.
11:43 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Of course the MOST fun thing is having meetigs with Seamus, though.
11:44 AM:sol_msxbox:Seamus: good answer!
11:44 AM:sol_msxbox:alright, Jeff, thanks for talking with us, we'll now move on to Scott (the webmaster)
11:45 AM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Thanks, Sol. And thanks to each of you who joined us here for this chat! Xbox 2001. Rock on.
11:45 AM:sol_msxbox:He Scott, how's it going?
11:45 AM:sol_msxbox:He=Hey
11:45 AM:incabrain_Xbox:oi... a little tired... and bedazzled, but things are going great
11:46 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Vegas is a bizarre place
11:46 AM:sol_msxbox:Can you tell us about what it is you do at Microsoft?
11:46 AM:incabrain_Xbox:erm, well... Let's see. That's my baby.
11:47 AM:incabrain_Xbox:I have a team of designers and devs that work their butts off
11:47 AM:sol_msxbox:What is your goal with the official Xbox site?
11:48 AM:incabrain_Xbox:We're the front face on the web for Xbox
11:48 AM:incabrain_Xbox:We let you guys play the major role in the community
11:49 AM:sol_msxbox:Can you explain what users are going to need for the webcast?
11:49 AM:sol_msxbox:Webcast time = 9:15 PST
11:49 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Go download Windows Media Player now!
11:49 AM:sol_msxbox:So, will it be a live thing, or slightly delayed?
11:50 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Live Baby! And let me say...
11:50 AM:incabrain_Xbox:I've been nervewracked about it. We've put a lot of hours into making this thing happen
11:51 AM:incabrain_Xbox:The keynote is just amazing
11:51 AM:sol_msxbox:10 Minutes until J comes on
11:51 AM:incabrain_Xbox:I watched the demo and... even having seen stuff before... I was drooling.
11:52 AM:sol_msxbox:So, can users see images on the official Xbox site ( around 10:30 PST?
11:53 AM:incabrain_Xbox:hrmmmm maybe a little earlier :)
11:53 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Check the home page at 10
11:54 AM:sol_msxbox:even better
11:54 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Hey Sol
11:54 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Did you see who walked in the room? Shhhhh!
11:56 AM:sol_msxbox:Why doesn't the site change that frequently?
11:56 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Good question.
11:56 AM:incabrain_Xbox:um...
11:56 AM:incabrain_Xbox:okay seriously
11:56 AM:incabrain_Xbox:We've been working on a new rev of the site for 3 months
11:57 AM:incabrain_Xbox:We hope to launch it in time for Gamestock
11:57 AM:sol_msxbox:How is it going to be different?
11:57 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Let's just say, you won't recognize the site by then
11:57 AM:incabrain_Xbox:And we plan on being a little more active in the Xbox fan community
11:58 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Meaning... we will spend some time with places like
11:58 AM:incabrain_Xbox:And... we'll have the focus on the best thing...
11:58 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Games, man!
11:58 AM:incabrain_Xbox:Games, games, games!
11:58 AM:incabrain_Xbox does a little jig.
11:59 AM:sol_msxbox:Sounds very cool.
12:00 PM:sol_msxbox:Alot of people are wondering what the darkroom is, and more importantly, there's no way of knowing if it's been updated!
12:00 PM:incabrain_Xbox:oh boy. you HAD to ask...
12:00 PM:incabrain_Xbox:We took the Darkroom down yesterday. The observant ones might have noticed
12:00 PM:incabrain_Xbox:Why? Well, we weren't doing a great job with it.
12:01 PM:sol_msxbox:why? It was so *cough* popular? <g>
12:01 PM:incabrain_Xbox:LOL
12:01 PM:incabrain_Xbox:Point taken
12:01 PM:incabrain_Xbox:and that's why we took it down
12:01 PM:incabrain_Xbox:the reality is it was a project started before I started on the team
12:02 PM:incabrain_Xbox:and we just didn't have the bandwidth to do it right
12:02 PM:incabrain_Xbox:so okay, it falls on me to make a collective apology for that one.
12:02 PM:incabrain_Xbox:But...
12:02 PM:incabrain_Xbox:Just wait til we relaunch
12:02 PM:incabrain_Xbox:you'll accept my apology then :)
12:03 PM:incabrain_Xbox:Oh! Look what the cat dragged in
12:03 PM:incabrain_Xbox:The one and only...
12:03 PM:incabrain_Xbox:the man with one letter for a name...
12:03 PM:incabrain_Xbox:***** J *****
12:03 PM:sol_msxbox:Welcome j Allard1
12:03 PM:incabrain_Xbox:erm ouch!!
12:03 PM:J_Allard:hey guys glad to be here...
12:03 PM:sol_msxbox:thanks for your time, Scott
12:04 PM:incabrain_Xbox:thanks guys!
12:04 PM:J_Allard:so wassup sol?
12:04 PM:sol_msxbox:First of all, J, thanks for this opportunity
12:04 PM:Jon_ArbCom:<crowd goes wild>
12:04 PM:J_Allard:not a problem at all - great to hang with gamers
12:04 PM:J_Allard:(more fun than being on stage with bill anyhow... ;)
12:05 PM:sol_msxbox:I don't know, I hear Bill is a pretty hip guy...
12:05 PM:J_Allard:yeah, i thought so too... until i met this guy this morning in the green room...
12:05 THAT'S a big guy...
12:05 PM:sol_msxbox:Attention : The feed is live on and will join the keynote in progress momentarily
12:05 PM:J_Allard:... he'll be joining bill later i heard...
12:06 PM:sol_msxbox:hmm, who could this dude be? I guess we'll have to wait patiently...
12:06 PM:J_Allard:yeah, like the egm screenshots right?
12:06 PM:J_Allard:maybe we can get him to chat if he gets a chance...
12:06 PM:sol_msxbox:err, uhmm, which *cough* egm shots?
12:06 PM:J_Allard:exactly
12:07 PM:sol_msxbox:Alright, lets get down to business then, Can you explain to everyone what it is you do at Microsoft?
12:07 PM:J_Allard:you guys are all going to have to forgive my typing today - i'm not on a Microsoft (R)
12:07 PM:sol_msxbox:heh
12:07 PM:J_Allard:Natural Keyboard(tm) with Intellisense(tm)(R)(c)2001
12:08 PM:J_Allard:i have the best job in the world...
12:08 PM:J_Allard:i get to work with all of the game developers out there
12:08 PM:J_Allard:doing amazing stuff on xbox.
12:08 PM:J_Allard:i basically have 3 responsibilities
12:08 PM:J_Allard:1. to deliver the system software for the xbox, the libraries that developers use to make games
12:09 PM:J_Allard:2. to work with the developers to make sure that they can make the most of the system
12:09 PM:sol_msxbox:Keynote Notice : the video feed should come in soon...
12:09 PM:J_Allard:3. to take gaming forward with online
12:09 PM:J_Allard:it's a lot of fun
12:10 PM:sol_msxbox:How will todays presentation help the Xbox gain a better foothold into the mainstream media?
12:10 PM:J_Allard:today is a great milestone for xbox. because ces isn't really a gaming show,
12:10 PM:J_Allard:this keynote means that xbox is going to get great visibility with a broader audience
12:11 PM:J_Allard:in many ways, all of our big public appearances - game developer conference
12:11 PM:J_Allard:tokyo game show, e3 have all been about the gaming community
12:11 PM:J_Allard:today we get to give the whole world a glimpse into the future of games and i think
12:11 PM:J_Allard:it's going to generate a lot of excitement
12:12 PM:J_Allard:on one hand it's hard, because it's been "our little secret" for so long, but it's
12:12 PM:J_Allard:so important to the success of the system longterm. it's also going to be fun to commit
12:12 PM:J_Allard:to some games (finally)
12:12 PM:sol_msxbox:heck, I'm already giddy with excitement
12:13 PM:sol_msxbox:So from this point on, could we expect to hear more about games from developers who have at this point been behind "curtains"?
12:13 PM:J_Allard:absolutely.
12:13 PM:J_Allard:we've always held that xbox is "all about the games"
12:14 PM:J_Allard:and now that our partners have had devkits for a while, we can start showing REAL GAMES
12:14 PM:J_Allard:today, we're going to start with two REAL GAMES
12:14 PM:J_Allard:then, i think you can expect a steady stream between now and E3...
12:15 PM:sol_msxbox:We've received quite a bit of feedback from some slightly dissappointed European Xbox fans... What can you tell them about the reasoning behind the decision?
12:15 PM:J_Allard:back to having the best job in the world... i of course have already seen a bunch of the stuff - can
12:15 PM:J_Allard:can't wait until some of these get done
12:15 PM:J_Allard:ah, europe.
12:16 PM:J_Allard:i think a lot of people got confused about our announcement on the initial console
12:17 PM:J_Allard:availbility. we watched the ps2 launch carefully, talked to retailers and gamers, and
12:17 PM:J_Allard:used that info to help us figure out our "staging strategy"
12:17 PM:J_Allard:ultimately, we decided the best way to succeed is to do one territory at a time. so we're going to
12:17 PM:J_Allard:us, japan, then europe
12:17 PM:J_Allard:all 3 territories are key to our success, and everyone needs to remember that this
12:17 PM:J_Allard:is a 5-6 year business. we want to make sure we do it RIGHT in all territories - have
12:17 PM:J_Allard:enough consoles, great support at retail, and most important GREAT GAMES. this
12:17 PM:J_Allard:staging is the best way to accomplish that.
12:17 PM:J_Allard:europe is super important, in fact, i'm flying out today to europe
12:17 PM:J_Allard:to visit with press and developers and announce today's news, answer questions
12:18 PM:J_Allard:and maybe even have a surprise or two
12:18 PM:sol_msxbox:So basically, you'd rather have a launch where people know when they can get their hands on the console, rather than having them wait months because of a lack of quantity?
12:18 PM:J_Allard:exactly
12:19 PM:J_Allard:a lot of people were disappointed this season
12:19 PM:sol_msxbox:What can you tell us about the decision to change the Xbox specs, first the increase to 733mhz, then the graphics chip drop to 250 mhz
12:19 PM:J_Allard:this is amazing - over 400 gamers up this early in the morning?
12:19 PM:sol_msxbox:?
12:19 PM:J_Allard:...or did they not go to bed?
12:19 PM:sol_msxbox:Yeah, nice turnout :)
12:19 PM:sol_msxbox:people are missing their saturday morning cartoons
12:19 PM:J_Allard:on the spec side, we've made a couple of refinements along the way as we've learned
12:19 PM:J_Allard:more
12:20 PM:J_Allard:in march, we announced that we were going to be 3x the performance of ps2
12:20 PM:J_Allard:and we thought that meant a 600mhz cpu and a 300mhz gpu
12:20 PM:J_Allard:as we worked closely with intel and nvidia, we realized that 733/250 would be
12:20 PM:J_Allard:a better balance, and allow us to
12:20 PM:J_Allard:1. hit our 3x performance goal
12:20 PM:J_Allard:2. hit our ship date and get it out there on 2001
12:21 PM:J_Allard:know this - when xbox ships, it will have the most baddass gpu in the world
12:22 PM:sol_msxbox:Why did you guys decide to use this CES show for the unveiling of the Xbox design, rather than Microsoft's own show, Gamestock?
12:22 PM:J_Allard:ces gives us huge exposure not just to the gaming media, but consumer media generally
12:23 PM:J_Allard:while the first several million xbox's will likely find their way into the hands of the hardcore
12:23 PM:J_Allard:gamers (that get up early for webchats), longterm, we're need to make xbox a household name
12:23 PM:J_Allard:this is an early step.
12:23 PM:J_Allard:besides, we had a great opportunity with our "special guest" today and with bill
12:23 PM:J_Allard:hard to pass up
12:24 PM:J_Allard:of course there will be new info in upcoming shows
12:25 PM:sol_msxbox:Could we call E3 "Microsoft's E3"?
12:25 PM:J_Allard:microsoft's e3? i think that xbox is going to be really really big this may
12:25 PM:J_Allard:we'll be showing games running on the real hardware and you'll see a lot of our partners
12:25 PM:J_Allard:showing stuff off too.
12:25 PM:J_Allard:2001 is going to be an awesome year for gaming though. i'm certain other companies
12:25 PM:J_Allard:will be showing some fun stuff too
12:26 PM:sol_msxbox:Keynote Announcement:Video is now live
12:26 PM:J_Allard:yeah, i'm hearing it in the background. a little distracting... talking about
12:26 PM:J_Allard:pc stuff i think.
12:27 PM:sol_msxbox:How long do I have to wait before I can begin asking you CES-specific questions (about the revelations and all)?
12:27 PM:J_Allard:i promised to keep it zipped until bill takes the wraps off.
12:27 PM:J_Allard:he is the boss afterall. :)
12:28 PM:sol_msxbox:I think now's a good time to ask that math problem I was having trouble with earlier...
12:28 PM:sol_msxbox:1. MGS + XBOX = MGS__ ?
12:28 PM:J_Allard:huh?
12:28 PM:J_Allard:MGS + XBOX = WOW!
12:29 PM:J_Allard:sorry to speak in code there... sol, you're a SNAKE
12:29 PM:sol_msxbox:Solid
12:30 PM:sol_msxbox::)
12:31 PM:sol_msxbox:Will there be online games from the get-go?
12:31 PM:J_Allard:you know, we're huge fans of online...
12:31 PM:J_Allard:and totally committed. we put an ethernet port on every box for that reason.
12:31 PM:J_Allard:you're going to see a lot of innovation in this space (and experimentation)
12:32 PM:J_Allard:you'll see some developers use it like the old playstation link cable
12:32 PM:J_Allard:you'll see people put together little "lan parties" with inexpensive hubs
12:32 PM:J_Allard:and gaming in gaming parlors
12:32 PM:J_Allard:it will be really big in college dorms
12:32 PM:sol_msxbox:mmmm, lan parties :)
12:32 PM:J_Allard:and of course the ultimate is the full internet where all of those different groups
12:32 PM:J_Allard:can play together.
12:33 PM:J_Allard:the cool thing about the ethernet strategy is that you don't necessarily need to have
12:33 PM:J_Allard:it connected to the intenret to get a multiplayer networked experience. you can
12:33 PM:J_Allard:do it in these other environments
12:33 PM:J_Allard:too
12:33 PM:sol_msxbox:So, we're talking full-fledged clan battles in games like Halo
12:33 PM:J_Allard:you can smell what xbox is cookin
12:34 PM:sol_msxbox:nice teaser!
12:35 PM:sol_msxbox:Along those lines, what do you say about controlling games like First-person shooters which normally require a key/mouse combo
12:36 PM:J_Allard:we can probably talk more about the controller in a few minutes...
12:36 PM:J_Allard:when we talked to gamers about what they want in a console, they said
12:36 PM:J_Allard:"awesome controller".
12:36 PM:J_Allard:we aksed about kb+m and they told us that they didn't really have much
12:38 PM:J_Allard:interest in having 4 keyboards on the couch to play with their friends.
12:38 PM:J_Allard:so we designed a rich controller and a good extensibility strategy
12:39 PM:sol_msxbox:Hey Guys, Allard has just got thrown out of his Chair by the Rock!
12:40 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Tell The Rock to whup him good! :-)
12:40 PM:sol_msxbox:He wants to talk with us about the Xbox and his special guest appearance before he goes on Stage!
12:41 PM:sol_msxbox:Hey Rock, how's it going man!
12:41 PM:The_Rock:Doing great jabroni!
12:41 PM:sol_msxbox:It's really great to have you here. I'm almost afraid you're going to give me the people's elbowq
12:41 PM:sol_msxbox:if I don't ask good questions :)
12:42 PM:Guest00141:What's up jabroni...ask The Rock some questions before I get out there!
12:42 PM:sol_msxbox:Are you much of a gamer?
12:42 PM:Guest00141:Yeah definately...
12:42 PM:Guest00141:Just bought the PS2..
12:42 PM:Guest00141:favorite of course is Madden 2001
12:43 PM:TheRock:just preordered Xbox directly from Bill....Gates that is!
12:44 PM:sol_msxbox:So you'd love to get your hands on a wrestling title for the console, starring you ofcourse?
12:44 PM:TheRock:Yeah..definately..because of the detail...the wrestling game that comes out on Xbox..
12:44 PM:TheRock:is gonna put you right there in the ring!..
12:44 PM:Guest43372:you're truly gonna smell what The Rock is cookin'!
12:45 PM:incabrain_Xbox:Okay does anyone realize The Rock is SITTING on me? I can barely type!
12:45 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:I'm chatting from Redmond, WA, and I can see The Rock's biceps from here!
12:45 PM:sol_msxbox:Rock, mind if we arm wrestle?
12:45 PM:J_Xbox:yo rock... wassup my man?
12:45 PM:ItsTheRock:Mind if the Rock slaps the taste outta your mouth?
12:46 PM:J_Xbox:damn, i think it's time you get on stage..
12:46 PM:J_Xbox: i hear bill callin'
12:46 PM:sol_msxbox:oooohh, haven't ate breakfast yet!
12:46 PM:ItsTheRock:It's Mr. Gates to you jabroni!
12:46 PM:J_Xbox:i guess bill will justj have to wait.
12:47 PM:sol_msxbox:What's going on in the WWF?
12:47 PM:ItsTheRock:From a company standpoint...we're getting ready for one of the pay per views of the company..
12:47 PM:ItsTheRock:entitled The Royal Rumble where The Rock will be laying the smackdown on all their candyasses!
12:48 PM:sol_msxbox:I know you're gonna lay smack down for all of us
12:49 PM:sol_msxbox:and come out on top
12:49 PM:J_Xbox:wonder what's under the black cloth out there..
12:49 PM:ItsTheRock:how about The Rock lays a smackdown on you for repeating what The Rock just said.
12:49 PM:sol_msxbox:please don't :)
12:49 PM:sol_msxbox:When will we see the Rock on the Xbox?
12:50 PM:ItsTheRock:By the year's end you're gonna see the most electrifying console ever in the Xbox and of course the most elctrifying game EVER..
12:50 PM:ItsTheRock:in what is titled Raw is War by THQ
12:51 PM:sol_msxbox:very sweet! another title for us to look forward too
12:51 PM:J_Xbox:it's cool to see the rock so pumped on the xbox... as powerful as the xbox is, it's going to be
12:51 PM:J_Xbox:hard to really be THE ROCK. nothing compares
12:52 PM:sol_msxbox:Yeah, he's sitting right next to me, don't want him to get too pumped up though...
12:52 PM:J_Xbox:rock baby, you are looking slick today man. where you shop?
12:52 PM:ItsTheRock:Only the finest haberdasheries for The Rock
12:52 PM:ItsTheRock:gotta run! watch the show!!
12:53 PM:sol_msxbox:Thanks a million rock!
12:53 PM:J_Xbox:right on bro. thanks for coming by
12:53 PM:J_Xbox:give bill my best
12:54 PM:sol_msxbox:J will be back in a jiff, if you want to go out and get a drink, now's the time
12:54 PM:J_Allard:man, everyone is pumped abt the box
12:55 PM:J_Allard:the rock is so pumped. he's a hardcore gamer. he was telling
12:55 PM:sol_msxbox:We've still got alot of questions to go guys
12:55 PM:J_Allard:last night about his favorite colecovision games...
12:56 PM:sol_msxbox:Alright, J is back.
12:57 PM:sol_msxbox:Can you talk about the custom USB ports on the Xbox a bit?
12:57 PM:J_Allard:lot of people ask if they'll be able to use standard usb controllers on the box
12:57 PM:J_Allard:the answer is no. we'll have a great selection of controllers
12:57 PM:J_Allard:available, but they have to be designed for the system so that the experience
12:57 PM:J_Allard:is great and peopel don't have to screw around with controller mapping, etc..
12:58 PM:J_Allard:the best games really design around the controllers.
12:58 PM:J_Allard:we decided to use usb technically so that controller manufacturers could bring
12:58 PM:J_Allard:product to market quicker, but more importantly to have the flexibility and power
12:59 PM:J_Allard:of a high-speed digital interface. 12Mbit to the controller dude
12:59 PM:sol_msxbox:How much of the XBox technology is going to be shared with the rest of Microsoft products? I would like to see some of the consumer features of the XBox make it back into MS' OS product line.
1:00 PM:J_Allard:a lot of what's being shown in the keynote today is how the microsoft
1:00 PM:J_Allard:product family in the home all works together. we've learned a lot when
1:00 PM:J_Allard:building the xbox and definitely plan to share. of course we did our share
1:00 PM:J_Allard:of borrowing too. teams like directx and sidewinder really paved the way for us
1:00 PM:J_Allard:to get xbox started
1:01 PM:sol_msxbox:How have developers responded about DirectX?
1:01 PM:J_Allard:developers love directx. it means they don't have to screw around with learning
1:01 PM:J_Allard:yet another api to get their imaginations translated into reality through games
1:02 PM:J_Allard:the demos we're going to show today, never could have happened as quickly
1:02 PM:J_Allard:hey bill just said "video game"...
1:02 PM:J_Allard:crazy? bill who are you calling crazy? he just called me crazy
1:02 PM:sol_msxbox:Watching the webcast, we'll comment as Bill talks about it
1:02 PM:J_Allard:(we did spend a lot of time with developers)
1:03 PM:J_Allard:(the box itself)
1:03 PM:J_Allard:(here it comes...)
1:03 PM:sol_msxbox:sweet looking console, man!
1:03 PM:J_Allard:i feel like a proud daddy
1:03 PM:J_Allard:i'm weaping
1:04 PM:sol_msxbox:Is it a boy?
1:04 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:<sniffle>'s beeaauuutiful.
1:04 PM:J_Allard:dude, it's a ROCK
1:04 PM:J_Allard:boom!
1:04 PM:J_Allard:i hope everyone is able to see the webcast now
1:04 PM:J_Allard:bill just unveiled the design of the console and the controller
1:04 PM:J_Allard:and is reinforcing that xbox is 100% about gaming
1:05 PM:J_Allard:and how important that it was for us to make it instant on, 4 player
1:05 PM:J_Allard:and the fact that we put two slots in the controller as well as built-in rumble
1:05 PM:J_Allard:it's nice to be able to finally talk about some of this stuff
1:05 PM:sol_msxbox:Yeah, real nice
1:06 PM:J_Allard:bill just announced that hdtv will be supported by xbox
1:06 PM:J_Allard:and is talking about the harddisk and broadband features
1:06 PM:J_Allard:now that i can talk about the controller:
1:06 PM:J_Allard:2 analog sticks
1:06 PM:J_Allard:2 analog triggers
1:06 PM:J_Allard:6 analog buttons on surface
1:07 PM:sol_msxbox:What were those 2 little buttons the top?
1:07 PM:J_Allard:8-way dpad
1:07 PM:J_Allard:2 high-speed slots for extensibility
1:07 PM:sol_msxbox:Hmm 2 slots?
1:07 PM:J_Allard:12 megabit bandwidth to the system
1:07 PM:sol_msxbox:I for a memory card, and the other?
1:07 PM:J_Allard:you can think about stuff like memory cards, voice peripherals
1:08 PM:J_Allard:because we're fully digital and we have the performance between the system and the controller
1:08 PM:J_Allard:we can do full-speed two way voice
1:08 PM:J_Allard:seamus just hit the stage with bill and is running a developer reel
1:08 PM:J_Allard: btw:bill high-fived him
1:08 PM:sol_msxbox:(Tony Hawk 2)
1:08 PM:J_Allard:uh, did i forget to mention that there's going to be an exclusive version
1:08 PM:sol_msxbox:(In parenthesis are games being shown)
1:08 PM:J_Allard:of tony hawk for xbox. exclusive
1:08 PM:sol_msxbox:on the big scren
1:09 PM:sol_msxbox:Wow, big time!
1:09 PM:J_Allard:it will be the first version of thps for next-generation consoles. tony hawk pro skater 2x
1:09 PM:J_Allard:i can't reveal all the secrets in the game, but it's going to be hot. activision is
1:09 PM:sol_msxbox:(Oddworld)
1:09 PM:J_Allard:really pumped
1:09 PM:sol_msxbox:(Malice)
1:09 PM:sol_msxbox:<Raw is War>
1:10 PM:J_Allard:yup. malice is confirmed and you're about to see some of the coolest lighting
1:10 PM:J_Allard:and shadowing you've ever seen
1:10 PM:J_Allard:did we mention that we're going to have an exclusive wrestling title?
1:10 PM:J_Allard:RAW IS WAR
1:10 PM:sol_msxbox:Yes, Rock was kind enough to mention that
1:10 PM:J_Allard:not only is the rock pumped, but the whole xbox team is pumped. thq is doing really excited
1:10 PM:sol_msxbox:you've answered alot of peoples' wishes with that one
1:10 PM:J_Allard:stuff and is going to take the wrestling category to the next level
1:10 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Earlier in the chat, I talked about changing the rules for what you can expect from console gaming. Malice is a great example of that!
1:10 PM:sol_msxbox:including mine
1:11 PM:J_Allard:we're now talking about oddworld
1:11 PM:J_Allard:oddworld has been an amazing success over the last couple of year
1:11 PM:J_Allard:now they are bringing it to xbox. and you're about to see on the webcast
1:11 PM:J_Allard:a real build of a real game on a real xbox devkit
1:11 PM:J_Allard:abe in full 3d
1:12 PM:J_Allard:some pretty impressive shadowing and detail in the scene, with all of the
1:12 PM:J_Allard:signature gameplay.
1:12 PM:J_Allard:"followme"
1:12 PM:J_Allard:"hello"
1:12 PM:J_Allard:"followme"
1:12 PM:J_Allard:"okay"
1:13 PM:sol_msxbox:And this is only running on about 1/5th the hardware
1:13 PM:J_Allard:that's right
1:13 PM:sol_msxbox:D-A-M-N
1:13 PM:J_Allard:seamus has much squeeling around in a wheelchair now...
1:14 PM:J_Allard:the world is really really rich and fully interactive.
1:14 PM:J_Allard:if you just glance at it, it looks like a cutscene from the last generation game
1:15 PM:J_Allard:seamus is about to show bill malice now
1:15 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:Actually, it looks better than cutscenes on any platform I've played before Xbox.
1:15 PM:J_Allard:a real build, on a real devkit, another real xbox game
1:15 PM:J_Allard:for those of you on the webcast, you need to watch the lighting and shadows
1:15 PM:J_Allard:look at the detail in the hammer. that's not texture trickery, but real
1:16 PM:J_Allard:geometry.
1:16 PM:J_Allard:another fully interactive world.
1:16 PM:J_Allard:argonaut has done an amazing job to really bring the character and environment alive
1:17 PM:J_Allard:everything in the world is bump-mapped, loads of geometry, amazing lighting
1:17 PM:sol_msxbox:That Malice game is the most amazing in-game graphics I've ever seen
1:17 PM:sol_msxbox:<---- mouth open
1:17 PM:J_Allard:you'll notice the shadows cast against all of the geometry accurately, even the character
1:17 PM:J_Allard:herself
1:18 PM:J_Allard:malice is sort of a twister fairy tale where you play a girl that grows up
1:18 PM:J_Allard:while you're playing and well, can turn into a cat. it's going to be one of the
1:18 PM:J_Allard:coolest platform games ever
1:18 PM:J_Allard:now, seamus is doing the giant robot skit. basically a giant robot trying to mimick
1:18 PM:J_Allard:alice. kind of a spoof on the raven/robot demo, but a little more fun
1:19 PM:J_Allard:(seamus is not very good at this game)
1:19 PM:J_Allard:the crowd reacted pretty strong to that. lots of whistles
1:20 PM:Jeff-H_Xbox:But Seamus not being real good at it shows that its REAL. A Real Game, in Realtime.
1:20 PM:sol_msxbox:Totally amazing.
1:20 PM:J_Allard:now seamus is into'ing the rock.
1:20 PM:J_Allard:the rock is in the house!
1:20 PM:J_Allard:badass
1:21 PM:J_Allard:more whistles
1:21 PM:J_Allard:the rock and bill don't have a lot in common?
1:21 PM:J_Allard:nah
1:21 PM:J_Allard:lots in common
1:21 PM:J_Allard:top of the industries
1:21 PM:J_Allard:best selling authors
1:21 PM:J_Allard:known worldwide for their vast catchphrases
1:21 PM:J_Allard:know your role
1:22 PM:J_Allard:layeth the smacketh down
1:22 PM:J_Allard:you can smell what the rock is cookin
1:22 PM:sol_msxbox:Bill Gates's catch phrases: Writing hardcore C to create slick tight code
1:22 PM:J_Allard:fascinating
1:22 PM:J_Allard:(if you're not following, i'm playing rock and sol's playing bill)
1:23 PM:sol_msxbox:Gates Big fan of the Rock
1:23 PM:J_Allard:rock is now giving a brief history of windows
1:24 PM:J_Allard:"bill gates, you never cease to amaze me"
1:24 PM:J_Allard:what the rock is to the wwf, the xbox is to the console industry
1:24 PM:J_Allard:"it doesn't matter what you think"
1:25 PM:sol_msxbox:What if the rock was running at 1/5th of his power?
1:25 PM:sol_msxbox:He'd still kick ass
1:25 PM:J_Allard:bill just wrapped up
1:26 PM:sol_msxbox:That was great, I hope everyone got a chance to catch that.
1:26 PM:J_Allard:ces is now officially started
1:26 PM:sol_msxbox:Lets just do some follow up questions with J before we open up the chat
1:26 PM:sol_msxbox:then he's gotta jet
1:26 PM:sol_msxbox:So the list of games revealed was...?
1:27 PM:J_Allard:Malice by Argonaut. a twisted fairy tale platformer that's going to blow minds
1:27 PM:J_Allard:Oddworld as you know which is going to bring Abe, Munch and their Odd World to full 3d in a way you've never seen
1:27 PM:J_Allard:Tony Hawk 2x, which is going to be an exclusive version designed for Xbox taking the art of skating
1:27 PM:J_Allard:to the next level
1:28 PM:J_Allard:last but not least... RAW IS WAR... an exclusive wrestling title from THQ taking the Rock and the
1:28 PM:J_Allard:rest of the WWF to Xbox
1:28 PM:J_Allard:...and this is just the beginning
1:28 PM:sol_msxbox:What was the inspiration behind the design?
1:29 PM:J_Allard:what we tried to do in our design was to capture the power of the system and
1:29 PM:J_Allard:the mystery of it's potential
1:29 PM:J_Allard:a key inspiration was high-end audio systems.
1:29 PM:J_Allard:we want the xbox games to be the center of the user's experience, not the system
1:30 PM:J_Allard:the system really amplifies the creativity and visions of the game designers
1:30 PM:J_Allard:not unlike an audio amplifier. and, it's high-end.
1:30 PM:sol_msxbox:very true.
1:30 PM:sol_msxbox:What about the controller, it takes alot from previous designs?
1:31 PM:J_Allard:with the controller we tried to learn from the best of previous designs
1:31 PM:J_Allard:couple with great asthetics, and most importantly have the right features and the
1:31 PM:J_Allard:right design. we designed it around comfort and having awesome functionality for the
1:31 PM:J_Allard:game designers to work with
1:32 PM:J_Allard:when we show it to people, we sayu
1:32 PM:J_Allard:"put out your hands like you're playing a game"
1:32 PM:J_Allard:then we just drop it in
1:32 PM:J_Allard:people think it feels supernatural
1:33 PM:J_Allard:you know, designed for marathons
1:33 PM:sol_msxbox:We're going to allow 5 readers join in randomly
1:34 PM:DopeyFish:*heart just stopped*
1:34 PM:sol_msxbox:so If you've received "voice" +v, then chat away
1:34 PM:J_Allard:having been an avid gamer for 20 years, and having owned every console
1:34 PM:J_Allard:i think it's going to be awesome. (i've also gottent to play a bunch of titles with it. it's good)
1:34 PM:DopeyFish:J, well, hrm hello how are you
1:35 PM:Nitros_MSXbox:there, all done
1:35 PM:Travis:Xbox looks great!
1:35 PM:J_Allard:hey dopeyfish. whatcha playing these days
1:37 PM:J_Allard:i'm not going to argue with the man. especially after all of the great things
1:37 PM:DopeyFish:hehe
1:38 PM:J_Allard:he's said about xbox. besides, i promised him a pair of these slick xbox shoes, so i need
1:38 PM:J_Allard:to live to deliver on the promise
1:38 PM:Iceman_Msxbox:Thanks for coming J. Allard :)
1:38 PM:DopeyFish:it's been great reading this interview :) nice to have you!
1:38 PM:J_Allard:thanks guys. catch you on the net. next time.