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On GDC Podcast episode 15 we're featuring Jason Ronald, director of program management for the Xbox Platform Team, where he leads development of the new Xbox Series X and S hardware.

Kris Graft

November 18, 2020

On GDC Podcast episode 15 we're featuring Jason Ronald, director of program management for the Xbox Platform Team, where he leads development of the new Xbox Series X and S hardware.

We ran an interview with Ronald recently, but the full audio interview has him shed light on other aspects of the years-long development of the new Xbox hardware.

Listen now on iTunes and Spotify

Jason on developer feedback

"With the Xbox One, we were trying to be kind of disruptive and think differently about the ecosystem, and how can we provide different experiences to different players," Ronald said. "With the beginning [development] of Xbox Series X and Series S, we really sat down and really had deep conversations with our [development] partners."

"Some of these partners, we've had relationships [with them] for more than 20 years," Ronald said. "So we have long-term relationships with partners and they're never hesitant to provide feedback to us on things that we could be doing differently, things that we could be doing better. We also want to sit down with them and really understand where they see their franchises going, or their technology stacks are going. And we take all of that feedback very early in the design process."

On rapid cross-generational development

"[The Coalition] was able to basically get Gears 5 up and running on an Xbox Series X development kit within three to four weeks, which in normal console generation transitions, that's kind of unheard of," Ronald said.

"A lot of times, there's a lot of engine rework you need to do, or toolchain work you need to redo," he added, "but we really wanted to make this as easy as possible. So they were able to get the game up and running very quickly. And then it was really about, 'okay, how do I take advantage of all this new power and all these new capabilities.' But they didn't have to go learn a completely new tool chain, or rebuild how they actually build the game. We really made a point to make it as easy as possible."

GDC Podcast music by Mike Meehan

Listen now on iTunes and Spotify

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