Reddit held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with an anonymous source their moderators have independently confirmed as a Microsoft employee and someone who is an active developer and part of the Xbox One team. After reading through the AmA, I really don’t know what to make of it—sure, the whole tone of the responses seemed fairly level-headed, but Microsoft’s also been known for “astroturfing” forums and comment threads with positive praise for their console, so your guess is as good as ours if this is a legitimate or company-sanctioned information leak.
It’s not like there’s anything particularly juicy in here either—the most damning thing about the AmA is something we all already figured: that Xbox One players are essentially paying $199 extra for the “privilege” of having the Kinect 2 packed in the box. Still, it’s an interesting read! Here are some choice responses:
Q: What was your reaction to the DRM reversal, and now this petition?
A: Personally I was a little surprised at the timeframe which we decided on the DRM reversal. I thought we didn’t push on its benefits enough.The petition shows there are lots of people who want these benefits as much as I do and clearly our execs care or Marc Whitten wouldn’t have referred to it in his IGN interview.
Q: Just one question, How loud is the console?
A: Almost inaudible. I run three at a time and they are drowned out by the fans in the desktops.
Q: How smooth is the interface right now with the snapping? can you snap between digital games or not? is the TV input lagging like it was in that wired interview?
A: Snapping is only available to certain apps such as IE, Skype, the game DVR upload tool, etc. Game titles cannot be snapped. I have not tried TV input but I did hook up a PC to the Xbox and watched netflix while I skyped someone.
Q: When you say games can’t be snapped you mean you can’t have them be the smaller view right? You can have other apps next to the game but you can’t have IE with Killer Instinct as the smaller snap on the right. Am saying this because you guys showed Killer Instinct with Twitch side by side.
A: Yes, AAA titles cannot be snapped (shown in smaller view). IE can however be snapped to look up how to perform a combination while you play :).
Q: Was the family sharing how everyone imagined it to be like (sharing games with 10 people only 2 game play one at the same time) or was it glorified demos ?
A: It was for full games. Can’t comment too much on this but its purpose was to eliminate the need to ever have to physically hand someone a game that you bought to share with them.
Q: Do you know anything about the rumor that Microsoft is upping the clock speed on the retail version? If you can’t answer that, do you think that the Xbox One is at disadvantage with it’s current specs compared to the PS4?
A: Can’t comment on the rumor. The facts are on paper, the PS4 has better specs and the most you can debate is by how much. What I can tell you is I have played Forza, Killer instinct, and Ryse on the Xbox One. They look as good as the games I play on a high end PC. Ryse reminded me of darksiders II.
Q: What’s the atmosphere like in the office? Fun? Relaxed? Big bureaucracy? When you come up with a genius new idea, how easy is it for you to make a pitch to your boss or to a different team (Kinect team, for example)?
A: The team is huge, almost 1000 people. Most people in Microsoft have their own offices, it’s the way Microsoft have been since it started. For the Xbox team however, we have mostly large open spaces (thank Bungie for that), with the most senior people having their own offices. The average time employed at Microsoft to get your own office in the Xbox team is about 10 years. The division provides us free of charge a 24hour snack bar, dinner every day, and breakfast and lunch on the weekends if we choose to come in. In addition to that the team provides additional sustenance and booze whenever we all get together and show off what we did in the past couple weeks. There’s no way I can throw in 60hours/week for the long term if the environment was overly stressful.
Almost every subgroup within the team works on something that is related to the Kinect in some way. I personally come in contact with 4 or 5 different subgroups in a day.