The former Microsoft President of Entertainment and Devices Division Robbie Bach has spent years running the Xbox brand since he has witnessed the launch of both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360. He shared his thoughts on the development direction and that he believed the pre-launch problems were “predictable and preventable.”
Microsoft was heavily criticized during its unveiling for requiring users to always be online and the heavy DRM policies. Microsoft later changed this policy to soothe its player base, but Bach said that all the drama could have been avoided.
But he has also given Microsoft credit stating that they have a “great holiday lineup” and has put all of those problems in the past which is probably for the best.
“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.”
“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.”
Bach also commented on the future of consoles and how digital forms of games will take over.
Robbie Bach: Does it have a physical media?
Q: Probably not.
Robbie Bach: Probably not, so how does that look? Is it just a game box or is it more? What’s the balance between what an Apple TV is and what a Xbox or a PlayStation 4 is? These are really interesting questions, and the teams going to have to wrestle with those. That next generation will be a whole new game.