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Xbox One dev: Didn’t know console name, DRM reversal, bundled headset and more


An official Xbox One developer took part in a Reddit AMA. Among many things, he/she revealed that his team working on the console (this person works on Xbox One apps, not games) didn’t learn about the Xbox One name until the reveal on May 21st. Saying this:

We found out what it was called when Don Mattrick told us during the reveal.

In addition to that, apparently a Sony developer actually boasted to an Xbox exec (that isn’t named) that Sony won with gamers at E3. This Xbox One developer says reaction to the intense backlash the day after E3 was like this:

It was quite moot. One of our execs had mentioned a Sony dev came up to him at E3 and told him you won the games, we won the gamers.

Then this developer explains why giving the option to turn off Kinect with the Xbox One wouldn’t work for Microsoft, saying:

The number of features on the Xbox One that uses the Kinect is almost too many to count. I can’t imagine using the console without it. To me, I see two ways to deal with this.
1) Not require the Kinect to be always plugged in and have all these features turned off by default.
2) Enable these features by default and turn them off if people choose to turn off the Kinect.
The first choice would undermine our guarantee to game developers.

Sony is shipping a headset with every PS4 after years of the 360 doing the same thing. Oddly enough, Microsoft hasn’t announced whether the Xbox One will include a headset but this developer says that he/she has heard it might get a bundled headset at a later date:

This is one of those things they don’t tell us until everyone else knows. But I have heard a wired headset will be included.

In addition to all of this, the developer comments on how they were surprised by the DRM reversal and the fan petition to bring DRM back.

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.

Surprisingly, AAA game titles can’t be “snapped” and that specific feature of the console that Microsoft trumpeted so much during the reveal isn’t available to many apps.

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 :).

A lot of candid thoughts from an Xbox One developer. I have to wonder how Microsoft will react to a lot of these comments but none of them are too outrageous.

He/She seems like they liked the idea of the console’s DRM, which is something we’re hearing repeatedly that behind the scenes MS employees liked it and didn’t expect such a negative reaction. I’m shocked that not everyone knew what the console would be called behind the scenes. Had Microsoft tested the name with everyone at their company perhaps we wouldn’t have been stuck with such a terrible console name.