Legacy Interview

Monday, October 15, 2001.
Xbox Video Game System Box artOfficial Xbox Magazine -2001

The thing that probably caught the eye of most readers of the mini mag was the (now famous) "How to escape from a well...using only an Xbox - and 33 feet of climbing rope"... That being said, you can very well imagine the kind of people that work at the "Official Xbox Magazine" . We had a chance to catch up with Mike Salmon and Grandma Dixie, and we asked them "insider" info on the Xbox Magazine and the related industry.

Q: XBA: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Mike about the "Official Xbox Magazine". To start off, based on the staff, what are the top ten ways to recognize an Xbox addict?

A: OXM: 10. Unnatural love of the color green 9. Giant, almost freakish, hands to fit perfectly on the Xbox pad 8. They smell vaguely of Taco Bell 7. They like drinks with "attitude" and little lizards 6. A hardcore gamer who is ready for something that is "revolutionary" not "evolutionary" 5. Games aren't a hobby, but a passion - not unlike the one I used to have for Farrah Fawcett (but that's a different story). 4. They buy an HDTV for their Xbox, rather than buying an Xbox for their HDTV 3. Spend countless nights dreaming of new and exciting ways to use the Hard-drive in games. 2. They have gotten over the "if it's japanese it's cool" stereotype and learned that good games are good games no matter where they are made. 1. They are the luckiest gamers on earth, since the Xbox and its launch line-up is even better than we hoped.

Q: XBA: What's the "vibe" been like for an editor-in-chief and staff of a magazine for a product that hasn't even hit the streets yet?

A: OXM: Honestly? Scary as hell. Our success isn't in our own hands - if the Xbox fails (and I really don't think it will) then our magazine will fail. All we can do is make the best possible magazine that we can make and hope that the consumers realize that the Xbox and Official Xbox Magazine is the right choice.

Q: XBA: In your Editor's Letter: "Bias, my ass!", it sounds like OXM is going to give the readers the straight scoop. Tell us more about that.

A: OXM: Our scoop will be straight. Basically we are huge fans of Xbox - the system, the idea, etc - and we won't let crap games onto our beloved system. Our job is to make sure that readers (and Xbox gamers) get the best possible Xbox experience. In other words, we only want them to play the Xbox games that make them feel good about the Xbox and then they can share their enthusiasm with friends and so on ... and so on ... We also aren't going to ignore other systems, because we realize that many people (ourselves included) play games on two or more systems. However, our focus will always be on Xbox (kinda makes sense since we're an Xbox magazine).

Q: XBA: How much will the magazine cost? with the disc and without, newsstand and subscription, Canadian and US prices. And long before it makes its way to Europe and other continents?

A: OXM: It varies depending on locale, etc for subscriptions (something around $30 for 12 issues and 12 discs). As for newsstand the "special preview issue" is 4.99, the "premiere issue" with DVD will be 7.99 and the rest of the issues (with playable Xbox demos) will be 8.99. The European versions will hit when those markets launch the Xbox (spring 2002 is what they are saying).

Q: XBA: Describe what is you're ideal "ultimate" fan-based Xbox review site? Will you be featuring fan-based web sites (hint hint) in your magazine? Will you also be getting the skinny on real-world Xbox addicts?

A: OXM: I'm really amazed at how professional the Xbox fansites are, and I just the love the energy and commitment that goes into them. It's people busting their ass and doing something they love doing. We really try to have a "fansite" attitude at Official Xbox Magazine. Basically we are all damn lucky to have this job and we plan to pass that enthusiasm onto readers. As for featuring fan-based websites. Certainly. We want to grow an Xbox community with Official Xbox Magazine and we'd love for the fansites to be involved in making it a reality. We will definitely be doing some stories on fansites and are always willing to work with them for the common good - great experience for Xbox gamers.

Q: XBA: Now for the juicy stuff... THE MAGIC DISC: what can people expect to see on the massive 8.7GB game disc month after month, other than demo versions of the coolest Xbox games?

A: OXM: That's a loaded question. In the beginning the disc will feature playable demos (up to 6 an issue - maybe more), movies of games, a snazzy 3D interface, video walk-throughs, challenges, etc. In the long run we plan to do much more. The hard-drive means we could package a collection of maps, new vehicles, etc. And once online is a reality there are a whole bunch of other things we could do. The goal is to create a disc that can give readers hours of play every month (we also plan on hiding secret things - so look carefully).

Q: XBA: What is the most anticipated game by OXM staff? Which game do you guys think will be THE console seller?

A: OXM: Halo and DoA3 are two of the best reasons to buy an Xbox. After playing final reviewable versions, I can say with confidence that Halo and DoA3 simply couldn't be done on any other system. And I'm not just talking about graphics. The whole package is so stunning and the immersion is so incredible that you really get a different feeling than any other console. You have to play'em to believe it.

Q: XBA: What's the latest about Xbox and online games? What will be the killer app for cyberspace? Who are the candidates for developing these games?

A: OXM: Last time I talked about this I got in trouble. So, no comment.

Q: XBA: To your knowledge, what will separate the men from the boys in the console industry? And why will Microsoft still rule the world?

A: OXM: Money. Games. Cool factor. If Microsoft can continue to deliver games like Halo and spend the much-ballyhooed 500 million to deliver an absolutely "cool" pitch to consumers then it won't matter what the other "boys" do.

Q: XBA: What other useful tips can we expect to see from OXM, in case we do get stuck in a well or anything else?

A: OXM: Every issue we'll provide you with an instruction manual for your Xbox. How to get the most fun out of the games you have. How to get the right games in the future. And how to escape a pack of wild wolves only using an Xbox and a shotgun. Oh, and some other stuff.

Q: XBA: Last question Mike, honest... "What's Bill Gates REALLY like?" Does he wear pink bunny slippers before going to bed?

A: OXM: He's one of the finest journalists I've ever worked with. He's in charge of our codes section (which is going to be bound in with the strategy section - his idea) and his goal is to create a codes/strategy section that is absolutely required by everyone in the world. Gotta love his enthusiasm. Look for his code section next issue! Now we kick Mike Salmon out of the "Virtual Room", and head to the dark dungeons of OXM where they keep a poor old women chained up in their basement. (just kidding)

Q: XBA: MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: Alright Grandma Dixie, what's an old woman doing here at Official Xbox Magazine?

A: Grandma Dixie: Two things: Free Prune Juice and all the Matlock I can watch.

Q: XBA: Grandma Dixie, we heard that you lure OXM's Xbox addicts away from their console with your fresh-baked cookies. What advice do you have for Xbox addicts at large? How can XboxAddict.com web site be of help?

A: Grandma Dixie: The doctor told me to take my pills. The orange one, the blue one, the pink one, and the white one. I can stop anytime. Now what were you talking about...

Q: XBA: You're about Bill Gates age (grin), we heard a rumour that you guys had a fling. Is it true?

A: Grandma Dixie: Don't be ridiculous. I have corns older than Billy.

Q: XBA: How old are you REALLY?

A: Grandma Dixie: I can't believe you asked that. In my day, boys didn't ask rude questions. This is all becaused they stopped spanking children in schools... Ever since then this entire country started going to heck in a hand basket.

Q: XBA: Have you even been to the XboxAddict.com web site? If so, what did you think?

A: Grandma Dixie: XboxAddict.com? What channel is it on? I may watch it, but if it plays during my stories, forget it.

Q: XBA: Do they pay you well at OXM? Or at all.

A: Grandma Dixie: What? You didn't listen when I said I get all the prune juice I could drink? Prunes aren't cheap you know.

Q: XBA: Grandma Dixie, what game concept would turn those born before electricity and indoor plumbing into raving Xbox addicts?

A: Grandma Dixie: Indoor plumbing?

Q: XBA: Is Grandma Dixie and OXM's Secret Mole one and the same person?

A: Grandma Dixie: I'm not saying, but I hear a certain Japanese developer that rhymes with Whapcom is reconsidering it's "Evil" dealings with a former card game maker due to some surprisingly shoddy sales of a certain purse-like electronics thinga-majig ... Oh my, I think I've had another spell. Deary me.

Q: XBA: How many teeth do you have?

A: Grandma Dixie: This interview is OVER!

Thanks Mike and Grandma Dixie for doing this interview with us Xbox Addicts, we hope to hear from you guys in the very near future.

We've been picked to bring you the Official Xbox Magazine Game disk preview to you every month! So, about a week or two before the magazine and game disk hits the store shelves, we'll bring you all the "hands-on" info on that month game disk.

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