"We can’t let the tech be a barrier," Bowman chimes in at the end.
In a recent interview with GamePlanet, Alan Bowman and Steven Blackburn, respectively Microsoft's Australasian Vice President of Retail Sales & Marketing and the New Zealand Xbox Lead, go over a brief history of the Xbox machines and expresses their optimism about this coming generation. According to Bowman, the specs of the PS4 and Xbox One don't matter as much as their games.
"We’ve got a unique value proposition, and from just a pure specs perspective it’s always gonna be fairly marginal difference," Bowman says. "The purists are gonna argue the toss, but I think it comes down to the games. You’re gonna see great exclusive games on Xbox One, and when you look at the cross-platform games, and there’s gonna be exclusive content on Xbox One."
Bowman goes on to talk about the Xbox One's global appeal - in particular why the machines have struggled in Japan and other Asian territories:
"We’d like to be in more markets – this is a global business – but it’s also a long-term business, and we’ll progressively launch in more markets over the coming year...
Sony are so strong in Japan as its their home base, and they certainly get a lot of support from the customer as well as the ecosystem – the local third-party developers, who primarily publish for Sony. We had moments midway through the life of the 360 where we’d see a sales spike if we had Japanese developer content released. Japan is very [local] content-driven. Same applies for Korea, same applies to Taiwan. Most of north Asia is very content-driven."
If Microsoft is serious about breaking into the Asian market, looking back at those 360 sales spikes could help them to plan a proper strategy for taking on Sony. If they were to secure some exclusives, it'd definitely help the console's popularity.
Bowmans' sentiments are shared by Blackburn, who mostly talks about who the "Xbox One customer" really is.
"At launch it’s the early adopter, the core of the core, guys that are passionate about core gaming experiences," Blackburn begins. "There’s a buy-in either because of the brand association, or it’s looking forward to the future, or people responding to specific pieces of content, like Killer Instinct, Dead Rising, Forza. It’s absolutely as male and core-skewed as you can imagine, but that will change. We need to have the ability to be that broad church. It also needs to be easier. Gamers are willing to spend time configuring things, but someone who just wants to watch TV is not."