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Xbox One launch issues “predictable and preventable”

2 min read

Mattrick X1

The new consoles really aren’t so new anymore. In fact, they’re hitting their terrible twos. With launch behind us, both the PS4 and Xbox One had reasonably established market shares and people sort of know what to expect from both experiences. The PS4 has sold many more units, but the race is in no way over, and really it doesn’t matter if one is bigger than the other – at least this generation has proved that consoles are still worthwhile. But the launch could have gone better for Microsoft.

Robbie Bach was the original Xbox boss and he sat down with GeekWire to chat about a range of topics. Most notably, they asked what it was like to watch from afar while Don Mattrick led the Xbox One launch with all the resulting issues.

I think I have two thoughts. The first is, gosh, I think some of that was predictable and preventable. If I’m just honest I would say that. These console competitions last 5, 6, 7, 8 years. I think it shows in the marketplace today. I think Xbox One has put almost all of that behind itself. They’ve got a great holiday lineup. They’re gaining share and volume. … The amazing thing is the console market is bigger now than it’s ever been before. Both companies are selling more units.

You would have liked to have seen them done more with the momentum we had. On the other hand, look at what’s going on on Xbox Live. Incredible momentum on Xbox Live. I think it’s a balance thing. I’m realistic enough. I’ve been gone long enough that I no longer say “we”. I say “they,” which is a good transition to actually make. I can be a little critical. I could also say that the team did what they needed to do. They persevered through a rocky patch, and they’re now on the path to making this a very competitive market.

I’m still befuddled by the Xbox One launch. Did they speak to no one with an understanding of the real world when they were brainstorming? How could so many bad ideas make it out of the dark meeting rooms? At least things have turned around for Microsoft’s console, and there are some pretty cool games coming. It’s just a very different story now than it could have been, with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One at a ridiculous rate, even now. To think, just a few years ago, everyone was predicting that Xbox One would ride the popularity of the 360 all the way to the top.

Last Updated: September 8, 2015

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