Microsoft: Full power of Xbox One not yet realized

VP Phil Harrison says as tools advance and developers become more familiar with the platform, games will only get richer.

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Xbox One launch titles like Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, and Dead Rising 3 have only scratched the surface of what the system is capable of, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison told Official Xbox Magazine in a new interview. As development tools advance and designers become more familiarized with the architecture, games only stand to get better, he said.

"When you've been around for a long time, you know what platforms are like," Harrison said. "The games you celebrate and are proud of in the first year, when you look back at them from the perspective of ten years from now; you'd be amazed at the difference. It's a combination of the tools getting better, developers beginning to understand the unique architecture to work with."

One "crucial" feature Microsoft has at its disposal with the Xbox One that it didn't have for Xbox 360 is its much-touted cloud servers, Harrison said. These servers will allow Microsoft to unlock the full potential of the Xbox One over time, he argued.

"That can grow and scale indefinitely--of course there is a practical limit but in effect you're uncapped," Harrison said. "And I think, from a player's perspective, that's the most exciting part; that it's not just about the chips in the box under the television or wherever you position your console of choice, it's about what the platform will provide you with over time. We've not had that in a console generation before."

Both system performance and features can expand over time thanks to the cloud, Harrison said, explaining that Microsoft has numerous ideas that it has not yet rolled out for the system.

"There are more ideas and vision for what games can be than available time to build them into the launch games," he said. "So for every feature you've seen in the launch titles--SmartGlass, GameDVR, use of voice with Kinect--there are five features in the queue waiting to come out, either in an update or a sequel or in a future version of a game. The kind of creative and technical innovation that we're seeing in the industry--it's a really good time."

Harrison previously described the Microsoft engineering team as "some of the smartest people I've ever worked with," and teased that, "as soon as we get past launch, then there are some really exciting things that are on the way" for Xbox One.

Microsoft product planning director Albert Penello told GameSpot this summer that the Xbox One will allow for loaning and trading of downloaded games sometime after launch. "I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience," he said at the time.

He also teased at the time that backward compatibility through streaming may be offered on the Xbox One some day and that the Family Sharing plan will return.

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