Microsoft Exec Talks Live Arcade

Microsoft’s Chris Early, product manager for Xbox Live Arcade, recently sat down with Gamasutra to discuss how the service has grown and what it faces moving forward.

On competing download services, those being Sony’s PlayStation Network and Nintendo’s Virtual Console, and how they stack up to Microsoft’s XBLA feature-wise, Early said, “Well, I know that we do our best to keep track of what’s going on, though I think we’re operating on a slightly different road-map – we know where we’re heading with the Live service, and we have a vision for what we’re delivering to customers and so far we’re staying pretty true to that.”

“I think in some areas, we’re actually seeing reinforcement from some of what’s happening on the other services,” said Early of competing services taking cues from Live Arcade, and on Microsoft possibly adopting features from PSN or VC added, “Over time I hope they do discover things that are great that we can appropriate as well.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Early addressed lag issues when playing multiplayer XBLA games, claiming that Microsoft is “absolutely” aware of the problems and promised forthcoming fixes for lag-plagued games such as Contra.

Early states, “Lag occurs in many cases and in many games, whether it be an Arcade game or a retail game because of the way the game is developed and so forth. We do test fairly extensively and that’s why we’re not happy when something like that does happen.”

“We try to find as many of those as possible before they get out to the consumer, but developers aren’t always happy when we pull the game out of cert on something because, in many cases, [the publisher is] looking to launch as quickly as possible. Still, we want to deliver the best quality games that we can.”

For the full interview with Early, click here.