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Xbox One is a games machine first and foremost, says Activision

Eric Hirshberg says there's a "false divide," that hardcore gamers can enjoy other entertainment like watching TV too

During Microsoft's unveiling of the Xbox One, games seemingly took a back seat while the company shined a spotlight on the next-gen console's enhancements for TV watching and other forms of entertainment. That's rubbed some core gamers and some members of the press the wrong way, but Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg isn't concerned. He's confident that the core will flock to Xbox One to play the new Call of Duty because "it's a game machine first and foremost," he told VentureBeat.

Hirshberg believes Microsoft understands that all game consoles "have to be great game machines first." He continued, "I think that's the tip of the sword. Everyone's trying to own the living room and own the entire entertainment experience."

While Hirshberg has been "pleased" with Microsoft's approach so far, he also pointed to a "false divide" he sees when it comes to how people enjoy entertainment.

"I don't think competition for different forms of entertainment in the living room is anything new. People can watch TV in their living rooms now. People can listen to music in their living rooms now. There's a false divide that gets created in people's minds sometimes, as though hardcore gamers don't also consume other forms of entertainment and wouldn't appreciate those things being made more seamless and more integrated into a more elegant experience. I think that's all that you're seeing here. To me, as a gamer, I'm excited by it," he said

Hirshberg also seems excited by Kinect's evolution. While Activision never fully supported Kinect before, it seems that the company could be changing its tune.

"I made a passing comment that you're going to see voice integration, voice commands via Kinect, which is something that we haven't done in the past with Call of Duty. We think the improvements to Kinect really excite us because of the level of responsiveness and detail. I thought that the demo they did with the voice commands on television, the instant changing between games and music, was really compelling. You'll see more of this coming from us as we get closer to the launch," Hirshberg said.

"Obviously, we didn't reveal that element today. We just mentioned it. But we've always made sure that we don't just use new technology for novelty's sake. We always make sure that it makes the gameplay better. In this case, we think it will."

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James Brightman avatar

James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.