March 25th 2011 1:02 pm PT
Q: Who are you?
A: You can read about me here.
Q: What the heck is up with your name? And how do you spell or pronounce it?
A: Thanks for asking. My last name is the result of a massive misunderstanding at Ellis Island while my grand father was entering the United States as an immigrant. It is spelled H R Y B.
It is pronounced ‘HER-b’ My name is often mis-spelled H Y R B.
Q: There are not vowels in your name! Why not?
A: It’s just the way it is. Sorry.
Q: Is running this blog your full time job?
A: No, I do this in my spare time for the benefit of the community.
Q: Why do you run it then?
A: I do it because this is another way to talk to the Xbox customers, and to (when appropriate) talk about projects we are working on at Xbox. Since I work on the Xbox development team, and not in PR or Marketing, it provides readers a peek into the world of working at Xbox.
Q: What can I expect on this blog?
A: I run this blog as part of my passion for community. I run this blog on my own time, and with my own money. It’s important to note that what I say on this blog (including any podcasts) is my personal opinion and is not read or approved by anyone before it is posted. Even though I work for Microsoft, not everything accurately reflects the views of my employer, my management, my co-workers, Microsoft partners or affiliates. I do my best to ensure that everything I post is accurate, but the postings on this site are provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
Q: Can you confirm a rumor that I heard?
A: I can’t comment on rumors, unreleased details, data or anything that is covered under my Microsoft NDA
Q: How come my country doesn’t get _________?
(Fill in the blank with any piece of content on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. That includes things like game demos, arcade games and content.)
A: There is no easy answer as to why every region doesn’t get every single piece of downloadable Xbox Live content. In short, there are many factors that influence content availability that we don’t control.
If you’ve ever tried to take your lemonade stand worldwide you’d understand. What happens if a country has enacted a ban on lemon-derived products? Or what if my lemonade fails to pass a certification board? Or what if yellow-colored drinks are not allowed for public consumption? And do I need a license to use lemons from someone else’s orchard? Welcome to the real world where unfortunately/fortunately there are a host of conditions that influence and regulate what you can and can’t do.
Governments, politicians, laws, regulations, video game rating boards, the ins-and-outs of licensing, Copyright and other Intellectual Property laws and treaties – any one of which can directly impact where content is available and where it is not. For example, a publisher may rights to a game (or game characters) in some countries, but not others.
In every region we offer content these factors are unique. There is not one single Video Game Rating Board that governs the ratings each video game receives. The United States and part of Canada have the ESRB. Japan has CERO. Australia and New Zealand have varying forms of the OFLC (Australia OFLC / New Zealand OFLC). Germany has the USK. Roughly twenty-five European countries have the widely adopted PEGI. And so on and so on. Not all governments are the same. Laws are different. Regulations are different. Cultural preferences are different. And let’s not even start in on the licensing model for the entertainment industry. As you can see it is a very complext space.
So if anything, don’t take it personally. We want to offer up as much quality Xbox Live content that we can and we want the Xbox Live community to have access to as much of it as possible. Content is not region exclusive because we want it that way. Trust us. We don’t like it any more then you do.
Q: Where is (insert game demo here)?
A: You should ask the game publisher. Xbox LIVE does not create demos for games. I make a blog the moment I know a demo/trailer is available for download.
Q: Why was a demo/trailer/gamer picture/theme not released in my country? Why does one country always get things first?!
A: Read the above question about regional issues regarding marketplace content.
Q: Hey, where is the game update or downloadable content that was announced by the publisher.
A: You should direct your questions to the game developer/publisher. They are the content owners.
Q: Do you have a policy on comments left on your blog?
A: Why yes I do.
Q: How do I get a job at Xbox?
A: We post all of our job postings at this site on Microsoft. com
Q: I want to beta test games and or hardware, how do I do it?
A: You would have to contact individual game publishers / developers and ask them. If I ever hear of any beta programs, I’ll be sure to post about them. If you live in the Seattle, WA area, you can also check out the Microsoft Playtest program.
Q:Can you help me? I have a problem or suggestion for an Xbox Game A: You’ll need to contact the game developer.
Q: Do you read the comments?
A: Yes, I read as many as I can. I will often respond in comments as well. You can tell when I respond, as my comment will have a green frame around it (so you know it’s really me.)
Q: How can I get in touch with you?
A: As long as it’s not game specific or support related, you can email me. See my email address here.
Q: Do you do a podcast each week?
A: I try to do one each Friday evenings (PT), but some weeks I don’t have time to produce one. The podcasts (or blogcasts as I call them) are produced on my personal time and sometimes I don’t have spare time to create one.
Update: July 2012
Everything in life has a disclaimer, so here is mine: Even though I work for Microsoft, not everything accurately reflects the views of my employer, my management, my co-workers, or is even true. So, little I say here is “Microsoft policy”. The postings on this site are provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.