We recently had an interview with Xbox marketer and lead planner Albert Penello. In our very own, Inner Circle Podcast, Penello gives us an inside look at how the Xbox team develops and deploys its products for consumers around the world. Throughout the interview we dive into topics ranging from the Xbox One S Reaction to the upcoming Scorpio. For the full audio podcast, tune into the Inner Circle Podcast hosted by Lenwood Henegan and Ivan AKA Anchorman.
Moving on to a more modern topic, TiCGN questioned the Xbox Planner on how he predicted consumers would take the news of the Xbox One, One S, and Scorpio ecosystem. As a response, Penello shared the past history of the Xbox 360 and its many revisions. The Xbox 360 would accompany the market with its sister consoles, the Xbox 360 Elite, and Xbox 360 Slim. Similarly, the Xbox One will share the limelight with the new hardware revisions. From the original release console the team at Xbox would look at past design decisions and decide whether or not they would do them again. Taking into account the feedback of the original base system, the team would analyze whether there were things people loved, didn’t like, or unforeseen popularity that would make the cut on the next revision.
Penello shared that one point that could always improve is the technology. With 4K in the horizon, the team knew right away it was the perfect opportunity to capitalize on an emerging tech trend. The team at Redmond already had the Scorpio in mind while the One S was being constructed. All gaming content would work across flawlessly on the new Xbox family so they were optimistic that the planned arrival of the new Xbox consoles would have little to no issues on announcement. With the each console easily working with each other instead of against, Penello was fairly bullish on the well reception of the Xbox One S along with the Scorpio.
During the interview we shared a TiC fan question at the Xbox marketer himself. The fan question shared with Penello was “Did you have doubts that announcing the Slim while announcing the Scorpio may have an effect sales on the One S?”
To that Penello answered that it was an obvious question that came up at the Microsoft campus. They asked themselves plenty of similar questions before the reveal but Penello was in no doubt at all. He was never worried because he saw the Xbox One S as “Rad.” He already had expectations because of knowledge of how good the product was. It may have been a bad decision to place the One S and Scorpio on the same stage if none of the products for the One S would work on the Scorpio. The strategy made sense, the product was awesome, there was no doubt in Penello’s mind that the One S would do fine sharing the stage with the beast, Project Scorpio. Instead, Penello liked the idea that he could get the news out ahead of time so that people would make an informed decision on purchasing either console.
It’s not that there won’t be any more console generations, it’s that going forward there will be more powerful devices that work with each other instead of disrupting any progress made in the gaming industry.
With history and technology on his side, Penello shares his roadmap of the Xbox One family. With this new paradigm in console development we shared our vision of the Xbox strategy and asked for clarification. Here at The Inner Circle Game Network we refer to the Xbox devices as tiers. The Xbox One would be Tier 1, the One S tier 2, and the Scorpio Tier 3. You have a choice to pick whatever you want. A base, medium, or ultra console. Penello shares our view on the subject and mentions that it’s what he envisions when the phrase “Thinking beyond console generations” is thrown out during interviews. It’s not that there won’t be any more console generations, it’s that going forward there will be more powerful devices that work with each other instead of disrupting any progress made in the gaming industry.
A new console generation tends to leave behind players with incompatible devices or games and are tough on developers whom need to learn how to program on the new machines. It is also hard on costumers who have to start their gaming collection from scratch. The Xbox team wants to think smarter about these types of situation instead of having to stop and start over again every five years. Penello goes on to say everyone has a different reason to own a console. “We’re going to let costumers choose.” Do they care about price? Do they care about performance? Do they care about 4K? All of these are options consumers have the liberty to choose according to Penello. In the end your games and accessories will work across the Xbox line of products.
For the full interview with Albert Penello listen to the latest episode of the Inner Circle Podcast.