This Week in Xbox One News - RRoD, Xbox One's European struggle, MGSV's voice acting and more! (June 7, 2015)

Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!

We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy post every weekend!

So without further ado, here's our latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.

Former Microsoft VP Peter Moore discusses the infamous 'Red Ring of Death' in new podcast

The now-infamous red lights that informed you that your Xbox 360 had melted internally cost Microsoft over a billion dollars, according to former Microsoft executive Peter Moore.

Talking on Podcast Unlocked, Moore described the overheating problems as "sickening", and recalled having to relay the bad news to former Xbox head, Robbie Bach.

..."It was sickening. I took a lot of the abuse because I was the face of it. It was ultimately on me. But this was a thing that we actually couldn't figure out what was going on.""As we started to do the analysis of what was going on, we were getting the defectives in. It was a challenging problem for our engineers. We couldn't quite figure out what it was, we knew it was heat related..."...

Moore went on to describe his encounter with Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft. Moore drew up a plan to spend over a billion dollars to allow Xbox fans to FedEx their consoles to Microsoft for repairs. Ballmer reportedly agreed to the decision with 'no hesitation', following up with the statement that Xbox fans can thank Steve Ballmer for the continued existence of the brand. Thank you, Steve Ballmer. Do you remember when your Xbox 360 RRoD'd? Hit the comments!

Be sure to check out the full podcast here.

Xboss Phil Spencer laments Xbox One's position in Europe

Phil Spencer has acknowledged that the Xbox One needs to do better in Europe in an interview with EDGE magazine. The PS4 has enjoyed a solid lead in most territories thus far but has a particular advantage in Europe. The Xbox One launched far later than PS4 in various European territories to localize Kinect for Europe's diverse array of languages.

..."We need to do better in Europe. "When I look globally, mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on,"....

Spencer is optimistic though, citing Germany's upcoming Gamescom convention as a launching pad for the European offensive.

..."I'm excited about going to Gamescom at the beginning of August, having another press show where we're able to show games that we didn't show [at E3]. So you're going to see brand new games, as well as obviously some repeats, but you're going to see Scalebound, Crackdown, Quantum Break from my friends at Remedy. From a product standpoint, I like where we are. I think the team's doing a great job with the games and building a platform for gamers."...

I think even the most rabid Xbox hater would have a hard time suggesting Microsoft were doing a bad job with the Xbox One. Microsoft are spending ridiculous amounts on exclusives, huge Xbox feature updates and benefits for Xbox Live Gold members - but if all your friends have a PS4, it remains a hard sell. What do you think would help Xbox One make up for lost ground? Hit the comments!

Troy Baker asks Metal Gear fans to reserve judgement of Kiefer Sutherland

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain kicks off the Autumn/Winter game rush on September 1st, but the path to the finish line has been marred by controversy. There are reports that Konami will fire MGS godfather Hideo Kojima once the game is shipped, also to reports that Konami are making life hard for the staff at Kojima Productions. Early on though, many fans were peeved at the announcement long-time Snake voice actor David Hayter had been ditched in favour of Kiefer Sutherland.

Troy Baker has come out in support of Kiefer Sutherland, asking fans to reserve judgement until after they've played the game (via VG247).

..."I love David Hayter, I love David, he's a good dude and he's Snake, but so is Kiefer. And that guy showed up, rolled up his sleeves and got dirty on this game. So reserve judgement until you play it. You only have like two more months left and trust me it'll be worth it."...

Troy Baker is the [veteran voice actor]* lending his talents to Revolver Ocelot in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V. There are plenty of people out there (myself included) who think the omission of David Hayter as Solid Snake is just another of Kojima's bait-and-switch marketing tactics. If The Phantom Pain were to pick up a sequel, it could retell the story of 1987's Metal Gear on the MSX2 - bringing Solid Snake and Big Boss (Naked Snake) face-to-face. Hayter vs. Sutherland.

Sadly given Konami's treatment of Kojima Productions, we may never know if it was Hideo's intention to round-off the series in this way.

Mass Effect: Andromeda might have a 'happier ending' than Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3's ending was, well, divisive, shall we say. The controversy is one of the more memorable drama-bombs of the last generation, with fans feeling that it ended far too abruptly. The backlash was so severe, Bioware issued a DLC to pad the ending and provide the trilogy with a more comforting send-off.

An inquiring Mass Effect fan pinged Mass Effect: Andromeda dev Chris Wynn, asking if the newest game would receive a "happier ending". Wynn replied, "we will do what we can!" - so fans still soured by the events of Mass Effect 3 can probably rest assured that Bioware have heard the feedback.

ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week

New Xbox One game releases for the week ending July 5th, 2015

Scrabble (opens in new tab) - Card & Board - Ubisoft

"Enjoy the classic word spelling game with your friends either locally or online, and add computer opponents of varying difficulties to make things interesting!"

Quiplash (opens in new tab) - Family, Puzzle & Trivia, Social - Jackbox Games

"For 3-8 Players and an Audience of thousands! The team behind the hit party games YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, Fibbage, and Drawful presents Quiplash, the laugh-a-minute battle of wits and wittiness!"

BLAZBLUE CHRONOPHANTASMA EXTEND (opens in new tab) - Action & Adventure, Fighting - Aksys Games

"The most definitive installment of the renowned 2D fighting game franchise, BlazBlue, can finally be taken into your living room. Uncover the secrets, of the Chrono Phantasma Extend."

And that's a wrap!

I'm close to the end of The Witcher 3; I'm not sure what to play next. Rare Replay comes out at the start of next month, followed by Dishonored Definitive Edition, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Metal Gear Solid V towards the start of September. What will you guys be playing before the holiday rush? Hit the comments!

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Such a shame they didn't release sooner across Europe. Kudos to Balmer for saving the brand!
  • Yeah, not launching in most of the world until 10 months later is a huge hurdle to overcome.
  • Microsoft should release Portuguese translated titles as any Playsation model always had over here! Maybe that happens for other Europeans countries. Plus as a Xbox 360 user I have my kids playing on their cousins PS3 & 4 Great karaoke titles with Portuguese Menus and lot's of Portuguese popular music, apart from other international greatest hits. If I had to buy this days for a console probably I'd buy a PS4 since now my kids have a formulated opinion, they didn't have a few years ago.
  • What does Greece crisis have to do with tech ? Joj
  • That isn't a Greek flag. That's the European Union flag representing the part of this post that's talking about Europe
  • I'm surprised you even knew what to answer to that......
  • My XBOX ONE is superior to any other console. Just like apple and android I can't stand playstation, and hope we win at Christmas time sales , looking forward to 70% of games on July 7 , definitely picking up Mortal Kombat & Sniper Elite 3. When Windows 10 hits the XBOX ONE " Flawless Victory"
  • Sniper Elite 3 is underappreciated imo, love that game.
  • Me too. Fun times with that game. I would consider the dlc if it went on sale July 7th
  • I don't find it underappreciated. It's one of those games that go out, people play them, receive some praise and go on making the next game. It's a fun game, not a masterpiece but just the kind of game spending money for is justified.
  • And this is why there are so many fanboy-wars
  • I had 2 they both had RROD. 1st one was repaired and still works till this day. The other was repaired twice and and failed till this day.
  • My Xbox 360 S has held out, my launch model 360 died on me twice. I still fear that the Xbox One has some unforeseen fault... haha
  • Did Xbox Original have any faults? Also how did QC fell that drastically? Or was it just the 360 hardware that was bad.
  • The original Xbox didn't have anything of that magnitude, but broken disc drives was kinda common. The rrod was a problem with swapping to a faulty heat sink, iirc, so tests before the new heat sink showed nothing.
  • Actually, the problem for the original Xbox was power cords that could potentially cause a fire... never had an issue myself, or heard of anyone who did, but Microsoft did a recall on the power cords.
  • I still don't understand why they needed so much time to get it (Xbox One) released here in Norway???!!! Almost a year later (5th sept. 2014)! And still no voice commands in Norwegian... What did they use their time to?
  • A lot of stuff.
  • The changes with licensing meant many lines of code needed to be changed
  • I think the lack of full regional functionality has hurt them somewhat, i.e. voice commands in various languages. I'm not sure whether Cortana is spread further or not. Hopefully though the exclusives are enough to get people trading in their PS4s for Xbox Ones. Here in the UK I've known a few people to switch over because of the lack of media support on the PS4. Also the backwards compatibility is a definite win. There also seems to be a better stock of PS4s in most of the trade-in stores I've seen.
  • Voice commands only apply to Kinect buyers though. How many people actually bought that pack in recent times?
  • Still, it's a shame. Kinect voice commands is hit and miss ... and I payed 500€ for that! I hope Cortana will do something about that ...
  • I went through four 360's. Three times on one, and one time on another. And as for games: I'll be getting MGSV along with pretty much everything else because there are just so many exceptional titles coming out for Xbox this year
  • It's an amazing year, not so amazing for bank balances!
  • Well the this generation of consoles are just startig out and at this point it's clear to see that there will be no losers between MSFT & Sony. From here on games and the overall product/service experience will do a fine job catering to their respective crowds. E32015 was a very important one, and MSFT in my oppinion showed that they are way more ambitious in the gaming space and are delivering the goods at a faster rate w/o sacrificing quality. Team Xbox is doing a phenominal job. I havent been this happy as a gamer since the launch of the 1st Gears of War. Great time to be a gamer, no matter your choice of platform.  
  • My 360 is the first slim model one, it never had any fault thankfully. It is 4 or 5 years old. :)
  • Afaik only the very first 360 generation was affected
  • They should arrange a cross platform online facility which would benefit both companies and their consumers (include pc gaming also) because in my current situation, if I was to choose the console which seems all round better for my needs (Xbox One) I would be alone online as my friends all own playstations, which makes the ps4 an option. If I could play Ceyhan titles with them online, I would surely stick with the Xbox one and enjoy the best of both worlds
  • Which is exactly why Sony would never let their consoles play cross platform
  • Fifth Generation I used Nintendo 64
    Sixth Generation I used PS2
    Seventh Generation I used Xbox 360 then PS3
    Eighth Generation I used PS4 (for three days) then ultimately the Xbox One
    Lol sorry Nintendo and Sony.
  • My first console was a Sega game gear. Then ps1, then 2, then Xbox everything. Still wish Sega lived, though.
  • I had a launch 360 an I worked fine for five yesw until I bought a nyko fan an it red ringed it two day, had the 360 fixed put the fan on an it ringed again, will never buy nyko again, but I have a S model now, an it still works
  • Oh man, those Nyko fans were the worst. Back when I worked Xbox Support, I would gently steer anyone away from those things if they asked if it would help. Such a large number of calls I got were people who got RROD very shortly after using those Nyko fans.
  • Launch day 360 red ringed the second day I had it, thankfully the retailer did a straight swap for a new one. The replacement lasted for quite a while before doing the RROD. It was repaired under warranty and 6 months later I sold it to get the HDMI version, which I later passed on to a friend and got a slim when they launched. No idea how the 3rd 360 is going, but the slim is still going today and I still use it for a bit of BLOPS II MP when I can't get on my Xbox One. I've also got a 60Gb backwards compatible PS3 that's going as good as new (stripped and cleaned it, new thermal grease and 19 blade fan to help prolong it's life, hopefully), and a PS4 that I got for exclusives like MLB. It's a great console itself and will get plenty of use, but the X1 will always be top dog in my house.
  • When my kids friend recently saw me unwrapping my new X1, he asked. "What kind of Playstation is that?"
    That pretty much sums up the status of the console war in Denmark. Microsoft is so far behind, and its hard to change when all your friends have PlayStations....maybe Windows 10 can help, and then they need some exclusives....I'm not sure, what would make a 10 year old choose something different than his friends?
    Tough one.
  • Launch an exclusive which has some cool stuff going on in Windows Phone 10. Throw in a semi free WP10 handset (not a 512MB) for the limited edition X1 plus game package and with this hope to gain the cool factor for X1 and WP10 as well. Design a special phone and X1 cover for example. Not cheap though....
  • Make Minecraft exclusive to the Xbox One on consoles (it if isn't already. Kids love that stuff!
  • It's not exclusive and Microsoft won't make it so, at least not soon.
  • If they do, they will lose all the reputation they have built up in recent years. They are so close to becoming cool again. They really should not do that.
  • Explain this it's cost as well for a customers so who care about the billions flying somewhere in the Microsoft corporation when you go to the shop and you buy a device with spend some around 500$ or less. Crisis in the Greece that's different cause who had a made politics populist spend all money for benefits and banks of course ;)
  • With Little effort Xbox one could have been a killer console. Let us use voicecontroll at least in english. Ad allplay support and Miracast. Make Spotify able to run. I know of smartglass and so on but that is not what im after. I want to be able to mirror my screen an play Music from any device on it withot any hassle. That had sold many consoles. I am not able to run any play schannel on it as well. Dont know If it is some drm problem or lack of flash support
  • Miracast is coming. Its currently available to Preview members. You can't just "make Spotify run." Spotify needs to make a compatible app and since they've done a deal with Sony it's not that likely they'll be doing that any time soon.
  • I know. Hope its in the next build. im not a preview member, dont know how to become one?
  • I still don't understand MS when it comes to voice control. Same with Cortana! Why don't they give users the option to use her in English ??!
  • If u ask me I'd say their xbox brand is not suitable for europe, it's just too american
  • Microsoft has gaming studios and developers in Europe. Remedy for example, is from Finland.. And Mojang is in Sweden.
  • Plus Lionhead and Rare in the UK and Press Play in Denmark.
  • Are people really bitching about Kiefer Sutherland being the voice actor of Snake in Metal Gear? Did they forgot that Kiefer played the most bad ass character in history!
    Jack Bauer >>>>> Snake ... Any Snake, all day, everyday, all week too!
  • What I also don't get is asking for a happy ending...well... It makes the suspense so much better if you don't know if the ending will be good or not. It's more like real life. And who doesn't love a revenge sequel
  • Two X360, one black and one white. No problems so far, exept me not having enough time to actually use them. I think I have like 20-30 games I have not tried at all, or played less than 30 minutes. So far I've waited with the XBONE, but I guess I'll pick one up eventualy.
  • Here is the deal.  I own an XBOX One.  I love the machine, not for the games but because it makes it real easy to cut the cord and to never have to use my remote.  Everyone else can have their own reasons why they like it, those are just MY reasons.  Microsoft has put out a great product, period.  They just have to keep making it better.  They keep giving me reasons to like it more and that will translate to sales.  People can talk about how powerful their PS4 is but I'm past that argument now.  I talk about how damn useful the machine is in real world ways.  I have 3 kids and they lose remotes ALL THE TIME!  Ifind them unde the couch, in other rooms and sometimes under the cushions.  Having the Kinect (properly set up and trained) allows me to just talk to the damn tv and get what I want quickly.  The games are great too, don't get me wrong - but this machine is just the center of our entertainment right now and that is what I think that this is what Microsoft was going for.  So the sales will come.  My extended family sees me using it and already my brother in law has gone off and purchased one.  I think others will follow.  It's anecdotal for sure but I cant imagine that this same thing is going to happen all over the place....
  • The ps4 is not even powerful, it's marketing from Sony to make people think its more powerful. When in reality it's a 720p machine just like Xbox one. The gpu in the ps4 is not powerful enough to use More than 4gbs of vram. Powerful video cards with twice the power of ps4 has been given almost twice the amount of vram with only minimal benefit of 1-2fps extra. An apu is meant to run on ddr3 giving it gddr5 will make no difference because it is meant to run on ddr3. 50% more power is a fraud statement derived from adding numbers when in reality it does not work that way in the real world. Sony is known for this when they touted the power of the ps3 and most games in the Xbox 360 ran and looked better
  • Don mattrick is to blame for lack luster Europe sales. Making the entire console centered around Kinect was a bad idea. Then trying to eliminate physical media added to the problems.
    Playstation 4 literally only has one good game for the entire year with nothing else to come until next year and its selling so well. Microsoft needs to keep up the intensity with first party exclusives and Xbox one deals. They also need to change peoples perception of Xbox one lack in power. Non technical people are eating all the garbage Sony spits out about 1080p 60fps. When ps4 is not capable of running that frame rate. Even their own first party game unchartered does not run in 1080p 60fps. The ps4 neither Xbox in has enough gpu power to run at that target. 768 vs 1200 stream processors give me a break. Neither gpu is anywhere close to the gtx 970 or r9 290 which are considered to be entry level 1080p cards. But only a PC gamer will understand this.
  • I have both consoles and both are nice but I spend more time playing in the X1 than I do the PS4. XBL is just so much better than PSN. XBL delivers a much better gaming experience some textures, shadows & lighting might look a little better on the PS4 but not by much.