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Innovation & Design

Xbox 360: The Fights and the Tantrums


Excerpt from 'The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console' by Dean Takahashi (Published by SpiderWorks)

CHAPTER 18 Who Let The Marketers In?

Once the technical teams figured out some of their options, the marketing team could lend its voice. Throw a marketing guy in with a group of engineers, and you get trouble. In the spring of 2003, the tug of war over what would be inside the Xenon console was in full swing. Even as the executives gave their blessing to the 2005 launch date, the planners beneath them were going around in circles on the design.

After Robbie Bach put together his three-page memo on the Xenon strategy and J Allard began work on his thirty-page memo, known as '30,' more planners got involved. That memo was essentially the go-ahead for those reporting to J Allard to launch full scale technology investigations.

The Xenon team was staffing up. Now more people focused on it full time. Chip Wood, Andrew McCombie, and Jon Thomason had started early. They were joined by A.J. Redmer from the games group; George Peckham, who headed third-party game developer relations; system designer Greg Gibson; his boss, Todd Holmdahl, the hardware chief; Mike Groesch from finance; Par Singh from the Japanese subsidiary, Cameron Ferroni, representing Xbox Live, and J Allard himself. Groesch took the minutes and kept the team on schedule. This team started as the Xe 30 team, and it later morphed into the Xenon Integration Group, or XIG, pronounced 'zig.'

As time went on, the top executives joined in. Bill Gates received an update on the progress every six weeks or so.

Initial Marketing Team


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