We had a chance to catch up with Don Mattrick, The Man/Senior Vice President responsible for running Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business unit, after E3 for a full fledged interview. As you will all find, our juicy style is still here and still strong.
WhatIfGaming: Hey Don, thanks for taking the time once again to answer our questions in a full length interview rather than bumping into you as usual.
Don Mattrick: (laughs) My pleasure, thanks for giving me the opportunity to answer them!
WhatIfGaming: Don’t worry; we’ll try to not make this too painful.
WhatIfGaming: So, recently as of Firmware 2.4, Sony’s PlayStation 3 started supporting trophies, giving PSN users the final stretch to feel like they’re a part of an even bigger community that’s not only just there for messaging, but also friendly competition. What does Microsoft think about the trophy system PSN has going? The good, the bad, the ugliest?
Don Mattrick: Since I like what you said, we’ll start this simple. Good: In terms of the competition it has a bigger community to focus towards and is giving users the chance to do something that our console did back in 2005. The Bad: It’s barely developed from what I have seen and will take a while to get to the level people expect it to be. The Ugly: There really isn’t any ugly side to systems that place rewards in general. As long as each console’s community seeks to gain a reward satisfaction outside of the game, it’s bound to happen. We just happened to realize this 4 years earlier and are ahead of our competitors.
WhatIfGaming: Microsoft is the true founder of achievements (laughs). We get it. In terms of trophies, Sony’s Playstation Home is making a big spark with promising cross game invites, integrated trophy support in personal space collections, and all sorts of crazy stuff when fully implemented. How does Microsoft feel about this?
DM: For online community we believe that gamers want more direct ways. We won’t stretch it or try to complicate things. Gamers have told us they want an easy way to be rewarded from the time they spend on games and get achievements to the time they spend on Xbox Live. We had the cross game invites Day 1, and many more features that makes Xbox Live the #1 choice for consumers that stands out the most from all the competitors.
DM: As for Sony’s PlayStation Home, it’s an interesting concept with a lot of promises. That’s just the thing. They’re just promises right now. Eventually, even when they choose to release it, it will take a lot of time building up momentum and implementing everything seamlessly. Currently, the PlayStation Network service is still separated in terms of community and bringing it all together. There is no cross game invites, no fully integrated achievement system, and a variety of things Xbox 360 has been doing since Day 1.
WhatIfGaming: Everything has to start somewhere. It’s true it wasn’t implemented Day 1 which is interesting and has always been a mystery to a lot of people online and even our readers, who I would say are very smart people.
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