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商业 - 科技

Xbox新掌门:虚拟现实技术很快就会普及

John Gaudiosi 2014年05月04日

Xbox新掌门菲尔•斯宾塞接受《财富》专访时认为,虚拟现实技术是游戏行业很有意思的一个领域。很快,这项技术就能摆脱呼之欲出的状态,得到游戏玩家和游戏开发人员的认可。

    微软(Microsoft)Xbox部门新任负责人菲尔•斯宾塞是游戏开发出身,职业生涯与美国艺电公司(Electronic Arts)首席执行官安德鲁•威尔逊类似。斯宾塞在微软工作的25年中参与开发了《巫毒大冒险》(Voodoo Vince)、《战争机器》(Gears of War)、《光环》(Halo)以及《极限竞速》(Forza)等多款游戏。如今,斯宾塞负责Xbox、Xbox Live以及创意团队,其中包括Xbox音乐、Xbox视频以及微软工作室,还有Kinect、Surface、Windows个人电脑和移动电话等业务。

    随着微软在下一代游戏机大战早期追赶索尼(Sony)(索尼已售出700多万台PlayStation 4S,而微软“出货了”500万台Xbox One游戏机),斯宾塞的任务是消除去年推出Xbox One时公关失败的不利影响,同时吸引玩家升级享受下一代游戏和娱乐。随着美国艺电(Electronic Arts)和Respawn Entertainment工作室开发的微软独家游戏《泰坦陨落》(Titanfall)大获成功,Xbox的互动性似乎得到了改善。斯宾塞自己也是位游戏玩家,他在接受《财富》采访时畅谈了对不断发展的视频游戏行业的看法,还谈到了发展迅速的免费游戏和虚拟现实领域。

    《财富》:去年微软推出Xbox One时,因为数字版权管理和已玩过的游戏等问题而遭到核心玩家的强烈反对,微软最终改变了Xbox One的某些功能。你们从中吸取了哪些经验教训?

    斯宾塞:我们牢记去年得到的反馈。我把它当成对我自己的鞭策——Xbox团队的每一位成员也都是如此。我们在初期应该更清晰的传达我们的意图,但我对我们回应的方式感到骄傲。我们调整了计划,向前推进,最终拿出了让玩家们十分满意的产品。我们由此意识到,倾听玩家的声音十分重要。我们证明,玩家有能力影响我们制造的产品。我们承诺将继续与Xbox玩家进行开诚布公的对话。

    独家游戏在这一代游戏机大战中将扮演什么角色?尤其是与过去相比,如今“AAA”级游戏开发得越来越少的情况下?

    独家游戏在新一代Xbox游戏机中将一如既往地扮演重要角色。我十分看好我们的Kinect、SmartGlass以及Cloud等独家平台功能,但游戏一直是Xbox游戏机的基石。Xbox One去年11月推出时就带有《极限竞速5》、《丧尸围城3》(Dead Rising 3)以及《罗马之子》(Ryse: Son of Rome)等游戏,我们并没有就此放慢脚步。前不久,我们刚刚发布了《运动会:对手》(Kinect Sports Rivals)以及《泰坦陨落》。本次E3游戏展极为重要,我们能借此机会向玩家展示我们关于独家游戏和第三方支持的计划。

    目前,我认为我们正在开发的独家游戏阵容相当强大,包括《日落过载》(Sunset Overdrive)、《星火计划》(Project Spark)、《量子破碎》(Quantum Break)以及《光环》等,在E3游戏展上我们还将介绍更多令人兴奋的游戏。我们将在E3游戏展上介绍Xbox One将新推出的独家游戏,简直太棒了!未来只会越来越好。

    就运动模式的射击游戏而言,你认为游戏行业从《泰坦陨落》的成功中学到了什么?

    首先,我要祝贺我们的合作伙伴Respawn以及美国艺电开发出这样一款极其出色的游戏。我们很自豪能与他们合作,也很荣幸能分享这份成功。

    我希望《泰坦陨落》证实了我所相信的游戏开发最基本的一条原则,即一流的游戏不拘一格。游戏开发没有固定的公式或清单。只需要组建一支怀着宏大愿景的团队,给予他们需要的平台和工具,他们就会做出令人惊叹的成绩。《泰坦陨落》一炮走红就证明了这一点,我认为这件事十分令人鼓舞。

    随着移动设备迅速强大起来,Valve、亚马逊(Amazon)、OUYA以及英伟达(NVIDIA)进入游戏领域,如今游戏机业务面临哪些挑战?

    争夺人们闲暇时间的比拼几乎与游戏行业的历史一样长,但如今游戏玩家的数量肯定比以往任何时候都要多,现在游戏设备也可谓汗牛充栋,而游戏产品更是层出不穷。我把游戏工作室在上面提到的这些平台赢得玩家的认可看成一个很好的学习机会。《我的世界》(Minecraft )和《坦克世界》(World of Tanks)等游戏脱离游戏机获得了成功,我们作为平台从中学到了很多,我们学到了使这些游戏成功登陆电视机的意义所在。我认为有能力登陆AAA游戏机而未登陆的热门游戏越多,它们的发展越迅猛,机会就越大。

    Phil Spencer, the new head of Xbox at Microsoft, came from game development, a similar career trajectory as Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson. Spencer worked on games as varied as Voodoo Vince, Gears of War, Halo, and Forza over his 25 years at Microsoft. He now leads the Xbox, Xbox Live, and creative teams, which include Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Microsoft Studios, as well as Kinect, Surface, Windows PC, and mobile phones.

    With Microsoft (MSFT) chasing Sony (SNE) in the early leg of the next-generation race (Sony has sold more than 7 million PlayStation 4s, while Microsoft has "shipped" 5 million Xbox One consoles), Spencer has been tasked with repairing the early PR damage that plagued last year's Xbox One launch and enticing gamers to upgrade to next-generation gaming and entertainment. With the success of Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall, a Microsoft exclusive, Xbox seems to have righted its interactive ship. Spencer, a gamer at heart, offers his thoughts on the evolving videogame landscape, which includes the burgeoning free-to-play games space and virtual reality, in this exclusive interview.

    Fortune: What did you learn from the Microsoft launch last year and the early vocal opposition from core gamers around issues like DRM and used games that ultimately reversed some functionality of Xbox One?

    Spencer: We took the feedback we got last year to heart. I took it personally -- you'd be hard-pressed to find someone at Xbox who didn't. Early on, we could have done a better job communicating our intent more clearly, but I'm proud of the way we responded, changed our plans, moved forward, and ultimately delivered a successful product that fans are really enjoying. We were reminded just how important it is to listen to our fans. We proved they can impact the products we make. Maintaining an open dialogue with Xbox fans is a commitment we'll continue to uphold.

    What role will exclusive games play in this generation of the console battle, especially as fewer "AAA" games are being developed today vs. past console generations?

    Exclusive games will continue to play a major role for Xbox in the new console generation, just as they have in previous generations. I'm a true believer in our exclusive platform features like Kinect, SmartGlass, and the Cloud, but games have always been the bedrock of our consoles at Xbox. On Xbox One, we came out of the gate strong last November with Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse: Son of Rome, and we haven't slowed down having just released Kinect Sports Rivals, and of course Titanfall. This E3 is important for us to show gamers our future plans for exclusives and third-party support.

    Right now I think we have a strong lineup of in-development exclusives, including games like Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark, Quantum Break, and Halo, in addition to some exciting titles you will hear more about at E3. It's going to be great at E3 to be able to share the games coming exclusively to Xbox One, and it's only going to get better.

    What do you feel the game industry has learned from the success of Titanfall when it comes to campaign modes for shooters?

    First, I want to congratulate our partners at Respawn and EA for creating a truly amazing game. We've been very proud to partner with them and feel honored to share a part of that success.

    My hope is that Titanfall has affirmed one of the most fundamental principles of game development I believe in: A great game can come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. There's no set formula or checklist you need to hit. When you assemble a team with a passionate vision and arm them with the platform and tools they need, they can do amazing things. Titanfall's early success has proven that, and I think that's very inspiring.

    What are the challenges for the console business today as mobile devices become more powerful so quickly and other companies like Valve, Amazon, OUYA, and NVIDIA enter the games space?

    The competition for how people spend their free time is as old as the games industry itself, but there are certainly more people playing games than ever before, on numerous devices with a seemingly unending pipeline of content. I see the success studios are having with gamers on all these different platforms as a great opportunity to learn. Games like Minecraft and World of Tanks found their success off of console, and we've learned a lot as a platform on what it means to create a place where those games can be successful on the TV. There is more opportunity here as you see more and more hit franchises growing that don't come to AAA consoles, but I think could.

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