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GamesRadar: What do you consider to be the star of your 2008 line-up?
Shane Kim: I don't like to pick between my children, but I think Gears Of War has the potential to be one of the biggest releases this Fall. We sold over five million units of the original Gears of War - we now have a much larger install base and that combined with what Epic have been able to do... I'm pretty excited.
Fable 2 I think will be huge also, we have high hopes for what Peter (Molyneux) has achieved.
Those are our biggest titles for Fall 2008.
Above: Gears of War 2
GR: GTA IV has just come out, how do you plan to keep pushing that on Xbox 360?
SK: I just read that apparently 65 percent of GTA IV sold is on Xbox 360, which is huge. That's a great victory for us. I'm pretty sure that a lot of the people that have bought GTA IV own both platforms but they are still preferrring to buy it on Xbox 360. And of course we have exclusive downloadable content - and we'll be pushing that very heavily.
GR: Dan Houser made a comment recently that Rockstar would be pushing it as much as a stand alone game?
SK: I think it's a great opportunity for them to take advantage of what is possible on Xbox 360. Clearly not every game can do what Rockstar can do with GTA IV. They're going to make money out of having it on Live - but not every game can make that kind of investment. They're going to be pushing it very heavily and we'll be working with them to do that.
GR: Dennis Dyack (Silicon Knights) just told us that Too Human was part of a trilogy that would unfold over the next seven years - do you see the Xbox 360 being around for that long?
SK: Absolutely. We said from the beginning that we expect the Xbox 360 to have a long tail. Clearly we didn't do that with the original xbox, which was a strategic decision we made. Admittedly, we don't have any experience doing this, but we're pretty confident Xbox 360 will have a long tail.
Above: Too Human
GR: How does this long tail work with regards to developer comments that not having a hard-drive in some of the models and a DVD drive is a restriction - do you have any plans to address that?
SK: You're going to continue to see technical innovation, it might be additional capabilities to the current format - but honestly we haven't made those kind of decicions yet.
As far as technical limitations? We're not seeing those. I think there's the potential for more multi-disc titles, we've already shipped a few of those already.
But I don't this is so drastic that people will start saying that Microsoft made a mistake not using Blu-ray. I just don't believe that.
What we've been able to see with the vast majority of titles on Xbox 360 is really great experiences not constrained with the lack of a hard drive or a larger capacity disc.
I think we will probably see more games release on multiple discs and the challenge is then for the developers to create an experience that doesn't involve a whole bunch of constant disc swapping.
GR: It's being reported that PS3 sales have surpassed 360 sales in Europe and that analysts are suggesting the same will happen in the US this month - do you dispute that?
SK: With respect to the sales the race is very tight so you're talking about 10,000 units here and there, that's not going to reverse the install base we already have. With regards to the European numbers, I think we've got to look at the data and see what it says, because everyone likes to quote their own numbers.
I can tell you that since we reduced the price of the Xbox 360 in Europe we've seen a lot of reinvigoration of the install base and seen sales pick up - our challenge of course is to sustain that. The launch of Grand Theft Auto IV has certainly helped us in Europe - and in the US as well. So that combination will create momentum for us for a while. And that'll get us to the Fall when everyone starts releasing their big new titles and then we'll see what happens.
GR: Halo and Halo Wars? Where are they?
SK: We're not showing Halo Wars here today because we wanted to focus on other titles. When we do show titles we want to show them when they are ready. We've learned that from a few games we showed too early, like Too Human. We want to make sure when we show you guys products we put our best foot foward, because when we do go to early, you tell people what you think of it and that influences other people.
I'm excited with the progress we've made - Halo Wars is a lot of fun to play - but it's not ready to show yet.
Above: Halo Wars
GR: But you showed it at E3 2007 and Liepzig...
SK: Yes, but in a controlled fashion. Here we wanted to do more hands-on time and Halo Wars isn't ready for that. I think you'll see, when we show it again, it's evolved a fair amount. It's a mix of multiplayer and single-player and we want to show them at the same time.
GR: What about Alan Wake?
SK: The same goes for Alan Wake, we're managing that very carefully with Remedy. When you can announce a game and get people really excited about it, the last thing you want to do is show it before it's ready. Alan Wake is pretty ambitious, in terms of what it's trying to do. It's taking a very different approach to storytelling and gameplay and it's taking a lot of work to get it right.
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