Allard On Perfect Dark ZeroAs the Xbox 360 launch approaches, some in the industry are watching "Perfect Dark Zero," from Microsoft's Rare development studio, and wondering whether it could be a blockbuster for the Xbox 360 in the way that "Halo," from the company's Bungie Studios, was for the original Xbox. I asked Xbox executive J Allard about that possibility during my recent conversation with him in San Francisco. His comments about the game -- "PDZ," as he calls it -- didn't make it into the Q&A that we published last week, so here they are: "I think PDZ is going to be special for 360. Is it going to be Halo? I don't know, because some people look at Halo and say, well, it was the birth of a new category for console gaming, called the first-person shooter. I don't think PDZ is going to have quite that impact. Others will say [Halo] had incredible sales volume and was a driver of the console. I think [Perfect Dark Zero] is going to be a driver of the console. I think there are definitely people who are going buy 360 because of it. Are we going to sell 5 or 6 million copies? That's to be determined." Allard also talked about his own experience playing Perfect Dark Zero: "There's more action-adventure elements, combined with first-person shooter, that make this different than just a shooter. A little bit more tactics, a little bit more thinking involved. I think the art direction, the style, is great. Then you go to the online stuff, and they've designed some great online maps, they have the co-op mode, where Halo had a little bit of co-op at the end. A lot of people, even the most competitive people in the world, love to play together. It's fun to have a teammate. I've played a bunch of Perfect Dark Zero levels solo, and then to go back in a co-op mode and try to solve the same puzzles, and be able to try to solve them more effectively, changes your outlook on the game."