For big executives, Twitter is a double-edged sword. It's easy to look like a doofus if you start spouting unpopular opinions. Careful use, though, can make it a great way to connect to your fans. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has made great use of the platform both before and after he stepped into his current role. This weekend, the exec did his best to answer some burning fan questions without getting his company involved in a lawsuit or something equally disastrous.
Some of the questions required pretty vague answers. Asked about the role of 'old' Xbox One games on Scorpio, Spencer said that "our games, old and new, have to show why someone would choose Scorpio. I feel really good about our progress on that."
Getting more specific, Spencer said right out that while next week's list of backwards-compatible games "looks good," he was quick to say that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, one of the most-requested games, is not part of that list, and that despite his seat at the top of the chain, he doesn't usually know when a third-party game – like Black Ops 2 – will get approved. Fans pushed, so he continued, saying that "we honestly don't know the date for Black Ops 2 right now. Not me, not the agents, not the BC team."
4K 360 games, Crimson Skies, and JRPGs came up, too
While the Xbox is generally viewed as an American system, it has its share of fans who adore Japanese games, and the question of "where my JRPGs at" comes up pretty regularly. Spencer had some concrete information to offer up this time. Spencer is heading to Japan this week to speak to third-party publishers about getting more Japanese games on the system. It's not a fast answer, but a thirteen-hour flight isn't something you do unless you mean it.
Spencer also talked about some older stuff. Crimson Skies is one of the original Xbox system's most beloved games, but Microsoft isn't doing anything with the license right now.
Jumping back to Scorpio, Spencer also replied to a fan question about upscaling older games. "360 games are tough as most don't have 4K assets," Spencer said. "Nice thing about our recent games is we have 4K assets from PC versions."
Indeed, when games were in development for the previous generations, 4K was barely a twinkle in the eye of most developers. It would be nice to see developers future-proofing games more, but it often just isn't worth the extra time or money required.
Regardless, at least we know Black Ops 2 still isn't coming yet.