Xbox One Interview With Craig Flannagan: The Cloud and Kinect – “That Gives You Opportunity”

During the hustle and bustle of E3 2013, I had the chance to sit down with Craig Flannagan, Microsoft Director of Marketing, to talk about some of the Xbox One‘s more unique features: The Cloud and the Kinect.


Being introduced to the new generation of console gaming is cloud computing. The Cloud, as Microsoft calls it, will open up a number of possibilities for game developers. We’ve already learned how developers Respawn Entertainment are going to utilize the Xbox One’s Cloud to host dedicated servers, and even offload some of the game’s data to provide a better, smoother experience.

I asked Flannagan for his take on how The Cloud will improve gaming on the Xbox One.

“The cloud is a really important part of it,” he reassured. “Xbox One is going to be the best place to play games and a big reason for that is that games come alive because of the cloud. So, the game that you get on that first day is going to change. It’s going to be a different game. It’s going to evolve, have living worlds, worlds that change, worlds that persist. What we’re doing is we’re giving developers a palette so they can create games they wouldn’t be able to create anywhere else.”

“From an Xbox Live standpoint, [you’ll have] the ability to play your games anywhere. Anywhere you go, you can sign in and all your games are there. With game DVR and Upload Studio, [you’ll have] the ability to capture your multiplayer moments, good or bad, epic wins or epic fails, edit them up, and share them out. Those are the social features of the cloud and what’s going to make games different and only available on Xbox One.”

“We’re just at the beginning. We’re a day and a half into this [at the time] and there’s so much more to come, but we’re already seeing the promise of games that you’ll only be able to find on Xbox One because we’re the only one giving those developers the tools to do that.”


When it comes to the Xbox 360, the Kinect was a bit of a hit-and-a-miss. Not every 360 gamer had one in their household, and therefor, developers were constantly faced with the question, ‘do we use up resources to create an experience centered around a device that not everyone owns?’

While every Xbox One is going to come packed with the newest version of the Kinext, making things a bit clearer for game developers, Microsoft doesn’t want to shove it down your throat and have you waving and yelling at your TV non-stop for the rest of your gaming life time.

“I think you’re going to continue to see experiences that are predominantly Kinect, that include Kinect, and some that are mostly controller-based,” Flannagan explained. “We’ll continue to give consumers choice and, really, creators choice. The fun part, from a creator’s standpoint, for us, is that every Xbox One comes with a Kinect. There’s that toolset we’re giving developers that’s just awesome. Every Xbox One’s going to come with a Kinect, every Xbox One is going to be connected to The Cloud. That gives you opportunity. There’ll be a lot more to come on Kinect games as well.”


Xbox One hits shelves this November. You can reserve yours here.

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