The Xbox One sold more units than any other home console in the U.S. in December, and that must have been a great source of relief to the team members at Microsoft who worked on creating their next generation gaming machine. Today, Microsoft put the spotlight on three members of that team, including the designer of the Xbox One console, Carl Ledbetter.
The profile, which is part of the company's ongoing efforts to promote themselves with more detailed feature stories, reveals that Ledbetter joined Microsoft in 1995. Since then he has worked on a number of projects and holds nearly 200 patents. One of them is for the rubber scroll wheel that was put into the first Microsoft IntelliMouse.
Ledbetter helped to design a number of Microsoft PC hardware accessories, along with the Xbox 360. He also was on the team that created the Zune. While some may call the media player a failure, Ledbetter thinks it was an important milestone in that it was a first party hardware product from Microsoft that debuted the company's flat UI, along with a PC client and a marketplace to purchase music and movies. He states:
At the time, the only other fully integrated product we had like that in the company was Xbox ... Working on Zune was definitely one of the highlights of my career. I learned a lot and it was a delight to work with such a passionate team.
He then moved to the Xbox team again, as he helped to design the Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 and then the Xbox One itself. The team created over 75 Xbox One prototypes, along with over 100 Kinect sensor models and over 200 controller designs. Ledbetter believes Microsoft will continue to get better at making hardware, stating, "When you look at what we’re doing in devices, and how we reorganized the company, and acquired Nokia, we’re really going deep to design best-in-class products. We’re starting to get there in a very serious and competitive way."
Microsoft also posted up a new profile of Boyd Multerer, the director of development for Xbox who started working at the company part-time in 1994 and full time in 1997. He was the first person to officially sign into the original Xbox's version of Xbox Live and later helped to create the now retired XNA game development toolset. The profile reveals that Multerer is now on a brief sabbatical from Microsoft but hints of his return to the company. He states, "I can't really talk about it, but I'll be working on exciting things."
The final new profile looks into the life of Alex Hebert, who started out simply as a video game player and fan. She turned that into a professional gamer career before moving into development. She joined Microsoft in 2011 and is working on building an online community for the Xbox One via chatting with gamers on forums, hosting live gameplay sessions on Twitch.tv and more. Hebert hints that Microsoft might get more involved in the growing eSports industry, saying, "Major league gaming has only been around for 10 or 12 years, and this is a really new thing for Microsoft ... I’m excited to help create a road map of where this goes."
Images via Microsoft