I want to start my commentary off with a correction. Previously I wrote that I couldn't mind my Xbox titles that are enhanced by HDTV. After doing some extra research, and consulting www.hdtvarcade.com, I found out that a majority of Xbox titles support both 480p resolution and 16×9 widescreen. In addition, once I had the settings to my HDTV altered, I am now able to enjoy Xbox the way it is meant to be played, in high definition widescreen.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in to let me know about this.
While we're on the subject of the Xbox, it seems as if the folks at Microsoft have acquired the services of a new employee. More specifically, it's a person who I have had a history with: former Sega exec Peter Moore. His sudden departure from Sega to Microsoft has proven to me what I thought all along and even voiced in a previous column: Peter Moore is a double agent for Microsoft.
This wasn't the first time I've believed that a Sega exec was a double agent for another company. During the Saturn years I had a strong suspicion that Bernie Stolar was a double agent for Sony (yes, I know he was released by Sony before joining Sega, but it all seemed like one big set up). After all, he single handedly killed off the Saturn by turning down some of the best Japanese Saturn titles available (Thunder Force V, Silhouette Mirage, Radiant Silvergun, etc.). Had he not rejected them, then maybe the Saturn would have had a better ending.
It happened again with the Dreamcast. When Peter Moore and his cronies decided that they would kill off the Dreamcast and neglect all those who bought this once great system, I was the only one who believed that all the promises of developing DC titles until the end of the year would be broken.
Who could forget the dreaded Shenmue 2 incident? When I spoke to the Sega rep regarding Shenmue 2 at E3, I know I was very aggressive on my questioning, almost to the point of "Third Degree," but I was pissed. Sega just pulled my heart out, chewed on it, and spit it out when they took my favorite system at the time away from me. The cancellation of DC Shenmue 2 despite all I was promised (right down to published ads in EGM, Gamepro, etc.), followed by the announcement that the game will be an Xbox exclusive started to make me wonder about this whole double-agent conspiracy taking place again.
Shenmue 2 was only the beginning. Look at how many Sega titles were made exclusive for the Xbox. Sega GT 2002, Jet Set Radio Future, World Series Baseball (well, last year's version at least), and now Panzer Dragoon Orta. They are all Xbox exclusive titles (I know that there were exclusives on other systems, namely VF4 on PS2 and Skies of Arcadia Legends on GameCube, but the vast majority of titles are on Xbox). Also, keep in mind that during the holidays, Xbox offered a special bundle including Jet Set Radio Future and Sega GT 2002 (both Sega titles) for a great price.
Coincidence, or conspiracy?
And it all leads up to a few weeks ago. Peter Moore suddenly resigns from Sega, only to end up with Microsoft a few days later. It also is starting to make me wonder that Moore might have considered the Xbox as a possible "Dreamcast 2."
After all, the original Dreamcast did run with a modified Windows CE operating system, so wouldn't it be appropriate for Peter Moore to ally himself with the same company responsible for the OS of his last system, and help make the Xbox's layout similar, especially in the controller? Think about it: same 4 button layout, 2 expansion slots, and 2 analog triggers portrayed in the same vein as the Dreamcast (just replace the VMU display with the large Xbox jewel, add the white/black buttons plus a second analog thumbstick, and paint the whole thing black). It would have been the perfect place for Moore to go.
So whether Mr. Moore's defection is the plan of a double agent or a mere coincidence of a Dreamcast 2, we will never know. I'm just curious to see what will come out of this new merger.