Back in the early 2000s, Apple became known for their iPod devices instead of their over-priced PCs, thanks to a solid focus on that emerging digital market. Gaming is in a similar position right now, and that’s a bit of history that Microsoft is keen on repeating.
“I fundamentally believe that gaming can be a real catalyst for Microsoft’s re-emergence as a consumer company,” New Xbox chief Phil Spencer said said on the Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb’s podcast. “I go back and I look at 1999 with Apple. And they, on the back of music, became a very relevant consumer brand.”
Apple has shifted beyond music in recent years, becoming more of a multiple media giant that sells overpriced everything. But it was music that gave the company a leg up when Steve Jobs took all the credit and placed better design ideas on existing products, something that Spencer says Microsoft will have the same opportunity to do so with Xbox.
“I don’t think it’s a lay-up,” Spencer said.
I think there’s a lot of things that have to be done. But it would be great to be at the part where people look back [at our history] and said, this is when Microsoft committed to gaming across everything that we did, led with what we do on Xbox One.
Microsoft had a mixed message last year with the Xbox One, revealing a console that was supposed to do all of the things all of the time. In comparison to Sony and their renewed focus on gaming with the PlayStation 4, the response was less than enthusiastic. But if going forward, if the console finally decides to be a gaming device first and foremost, with multimedia being second? I can get behind that.
Spencer also said that Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella had personally told him “gaming is going to be a first-class citizen within this company.” So none of that worry about Xbox being sold off then. Now get back to work on that Xbox 360 emulation, patch your hardware to be optimal and folks will want to buy your console when it releases here later this year.
Last Updated: April 8, 2014