From the earliest moments of its conception, Xbox has been an American console. It was invented in America, designed in America, and continues to enjoy its greatest successes in America. Its signature game, Halo, is about as Yankee-doodle as they come. But it’s always had a strong UK showing thanks to Rare and Lionhead – internal studios that have flourished even while others like Ensemble, FASA and Aces were closed. Now, with ex-Sony man Phil Harrison in charge and a new console to support, more have joined the strength, and they’ve been charged with changing the way we play games.
To paraphrase a line about Chuck Norris, Phil Harrison’s role is so important that it cannot even be described. “I have no idea what my job title is, actually,” he muses while sitting in Microsoft’s Xbox-equipped London showhome. “I have a privileged position to stand up and talk about other people’s great work. That will be my simple answer.”