Shane Kim, VP Microsoft Game Studios, still

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In an interview with Game Daily, Shane Kim professes his love for HD DVD, what MS is doing to ensure the next gen Xbox doesn’t have RROD issues, DRM issues and why they’re not in the market to swoop up Take-Two.

While it is unfortunate that HD DVD was discontinued, there is still enjoyment to be had from your Xbox 360 HD DVD Player. You can take this as an opportunity to build out your movie collection! There are around 500 HD DVD movies to choose from and many at great deals, so there is a fair amount of content for HD DVD on the market. It also is a terrific DVD player and it allows you to have game discs and movie discs, whether HD DVD or DVD, within the console at one time. The HD DVD player also adds two additional USB ports to your console.

4. What steps are you taking to ensure that the next iteration of Xbox isn’t rushed to market like the Xbox 360 was? Has Microsoft learned anything from the $1 billion write-off?

World class quality is top priority for the entire Xbox 360 program. MGS has led all publishers in overall portfolio quality in each of the last three years. Xbox Live is the leading online gaming service with well over 10 million members. And we’ve also introduced a number of terrific, high-quality accessories for Xbox 360. We certainly regret the issues that some customers have experienced with Xbox 360, which is why we took the step of extending our warranty to an unprecedented three years. However, we feel very confident in the quality of the consoles that we are producing, and our hardware experience and talent continue to grow. Customers should be confident that we are applying the same focus and commitment to quality in our hardware as we are to our software and services.

9. What is Microsoft doing to remedy the DRM issues affecting those who have suffered the red ring of death? It’s been over two months since I received my new console (unit #3) and I still cannot access content that was purchased with my original 360 while I’m offline. For people who do most of their gaming offline, it is extremely inconvenient. It has also caused me to hold off on future Live purchases for fear of going through this again should I suffer another hardware failure. It makes sense that if you’ve paid for DLC, you should be able to enjoy it online or off. When are we going to see a resolution?

I can absolutely understand your frustration. Please know that we have taken major steps to address the hardware issues experienced by our customers so that they won’t have to deal with this in the future. For people in your shoes, I think we have an amicable solution already in place. I recommend that you visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/account/postrepair.htm for instructions. This process will only require you to connect to Xbox LIVE once to download the content again. Once you follow this process, you should be able to play previously downloaded content whether you are signed into Xbox LIVE or not. If for some reason this process does not work for you, please contact 1-800-4MY-XBOX.

6. Why would MS not purchase BioWare / Pandemic? Why not make an offer to purchase Take-Two? Wouldn’t purchasing these two developers strengthen MS Game Studio’s position in developing 1st party games that would be MS exclusives (ie..Xbox brand and Windows-based products)?

We have a tremendous amount of respect for our friends at BioWare and truly enjoyed our publishing relationship with that studio. However, we didn’t have any relationship or past experience working with Pandemic or Take-Two, so that is a major hurdle for us to overcome, especially at their prices. Without discussing the relative merits of each of those situations, I’ll just say that we’re not motivated by the actions of others and instead try to focus on the best places for us to invest our financial and human capital. There’s an awful lot you can do with $3 billion!

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