So if you hadn't noticed, Peter and I were in Seattle last week — one of the things we were treated to for driving out to Redmond was an all-access tour of the Xbox facilities, courtesy of our main man, Major Nelson. See if you can notice which color plays a central role in the interior design theme of the facilities. Interesting side note: Xbox HQ is off-site from Microsoft's main campus in Redmond — apparently they wanted Xbox to function as its own independent creative unit apart from regular Microsoft operations. Click on for the full tour!
We hear when they shut down for the day this Master Chief statue gets powered on and actually patrols the halls with a Covenant Energy Sword.
The original Xbox trophy case. Memmmorieees.
The halls of the quite expansive three-floor Xbox HQ building. Think we came on trash day.
Yes, these are pallets of Xboxes. International ones though, shipped in straight from China for testing before launch.
This crew right here is whos watching Live 24x7x365. Theyre the ones who make sure every game and service stays up, and act as liasons between the NOC and end user support peeps.
... and if there are any problems, they have a library of every Xbox game every published ready for testing. We tried making off with a couple bins but we were wearing our tight jeans that day.
The central Xbox Live NOC is in an undisclosed location, but at Xbox HQ they have a 350+ server testing environment for developing new versions of Live, as well as debugging problems with the, uh, live version of Live.
One hall proudly displayed flowcharts of every possible 360 screen. We had no idea how many there really were.
And finally we have J. Allards conference room. Look familiar? And yes, believe it or not the 360 shortage hit so hard that even the 360 in the centerpiece isnt real. Can someone please get J a 360 for Christmahannukwanzaa?
Thanks again to the Major and his crew for their hospitality! Maybe next time well give them a grand tour of the Engadget offices.
Oh, and Sony and Nintendo: were still waiting for our tour, you dont want Microsoft showing you up, now do you?