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Having your cake and eating it

01 Dec 06

What’s it like having a dream job?
Well David McLean, Microsoft’s regional director ANZ entertainment and electronics division, reckons it’s pretty sweet.
Christmas came early one year for McLean, who trained as an accountant and started at Microsoft in the finance department, when he was offered a position promoting a new product the company was launching – XBOX.
“It’s a pretty cool job and, yes, I am a gamer. I’m a passionate Arsenal football supporter and do play online with my cousin back in the UK, however I get a bit of grief at home because my wife can’t deal with the music on games like Splinter Cell,” he says.
McLean insists he does do real work but admits it’s a bonus to work in a field he has a genuine interest in.
His top game picks for this Christmas include Lego Star Wars, Gears of War and Viva Pinata – which he describes as charmingly addictive.
“This is definitely going to be a 360 Christmas as we’ll have around 160 games in the shops plus a load of new peripherals and some really cool stuff happening on XBOX Live.”
Next year will see even more user experiences expand the XBOX beyond gaming console into accessing TV and film downloads.
“There’s already over 1,000 hours of content available in the US and that sort of experience will hit this region next year. Users can start downloading over broadband and begin watching content within ten minutes.”
Microsoft will launch its high definition strategy into the ANZ market next year and McLean says New Zealand’s broadband speeds are good enough for this service.
“Download costs won’t be prohibitive and the infrastructure is ok but broadband in this market is still expensive.”
Despite the hype surrounding the release of Playstation 3 he is extremely confident Microsoft will ultimately win the battle of the consoles.
“We have the best online solution bar none, the best user experiences and all the major publishers are developing to our platform – I genuinely think that will be where we win.”
Although McLean admits consumers may not fully understand all the capabilities and features of the 360 he doesn’t see it as a major issue.
“Even we don’t understand what we’re going to do with it in the future. Since launching it eleven months ago we’ve already made it compatible with Vista and Zune and we’re still making changes. Consumers will understand that 360 has the answer for them, I’m very confident of that.”

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