Shane Kim

Microsoft Game Studios boss on the 2008 line-up, competing with PS3 and that motion controller...

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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.

Sony has said that PS3 sales have surpassed 360 sales in Europe and analysts are suggesting the same will happen in the US this month - do you dispute that?

Kim: With respect to the sales the race is very tight so your talking about 10000 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 like 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 eevryone starts releasing their big new titles and we'll see what happens.

Halo and Halo Wars... where are they?

Kim: We're not showing Halo Wars here today because we wanted to focus on these 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 to 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.

But you showed it at E3 2007 and Leipzig...

Kim: 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.

What about Alan Wake?

Kim: 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.

How's your relationship with Bungie going?

Kim: Still good. It's an arms length relationship, but we still work very closely together - they've just released a new set of downloadable content for Halo 3 and we continue to work with them on projects like the Peter Jackoson project, so our relationship is still strong. It's gone the way we'd hope it would go. Once we decide we were going to part company we always said we wanted to maintaim a long term relationship with Bungie, and that's what's happened.

You mention the Peter Jackson project - do you have any plans to have him make games with you in the same way that EA have with Stephen Speilberg?

Kim: Well, he is working with us but not in the same way as Stephen is working with EA. our partnership with Peter is taking a master story teller and bringing him into our world. No disrespect to Stephen, but there's a lot of movie guys that want to make games, like John Woo for example. But our deal with Peter is not about a movie guy making a game. What we've talked about - and he agrees with this - is how we can use Live as a medium to introduce episodic interactive storytelling. There's some people in our industry who can tell stories - but they're not Peter Jackson.

What's the official line on the rumoured motion controller that Microsoft may or may not be working on?

Kim: Well, the stock answer is that we don't comment on rumours and speculation. But I will say, look, we have a lot of reasearch and development going on all over the place, in Live and in Harware and we have a ton of success in the accessory business - and that's probably a story that doesn't get told enough. From a commercial perspective and also in terms of critical acclaim.

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