Feb 13 2013
By: Emerald_Swords MVP Support 10508 posts

Xbox Founder speaks out at Microsoft

3 replies 165 views Edited Feb 13, 2013


Xbox 360's last five years have been "painful to watch" according to a former Microsoft engineer who helped create the original Xbox in 1999.

In a blog post entitled "Stupid, Stupid Xbox", Nat Brown asserts that Microsoft has spent the last five years mistakenly trying to turn the Xbox into a multimedia hub whilst abandoning all the studios and design features that made it a great games console in the first place.

He explains, "The past 5 years, and the last year in particular, have been simply painful to watch. Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect. Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo – you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures). A complete lack of tactical versus strategic understanding of the long game of the living room."


Brown goes on to clarify that he completely agrees greater living room connectivity should be part of Microsoft's business plan, but not at the expense of what made it great in the first place; a focus on games.


No, more and better content was always the point and the plan. My gripe is that, as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.



"Xbox’s primary critical problem is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of Xbox customers, period.



"Why can’t I write a game for Xbox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home Xbox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?"


Brown concludes by saying pretty damningly that "Microsoft is living in a naive dream-world," stating that "Xbox just needs somebody with a brain and focus to get the product in order tactically before romping forward to continue the long-term strategic promise of an Xbox in every living room, connected to every screen."

Brown also noted the growing threat of Apple's gaming influence, claiming that a gaming-capable iOS-based TV or set-top box could "kill" traditional consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo due to the company's higher rev-shares from developers and massive install base. Brown's comments echo similar statements from Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, who last month called Apple the "biggest threat" for next-gen consoles.


The company's come under fairly heavy fire recently from past employees. Just last week we revealed how the former VP of Windows Sales, Joachim Kempin, thought the company needed to refocus on PC, whilst he explained why it got into the console business, why Bill Gates didn't think buying SEGA was a good shout and how the Xbox 720 will likely use Windows 8 as the basis for its interface.

What do you think? Has Microsoft lost its way with how it's handled the Xbox and is an urgent refocus on games needed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Credit to Ign for the source.

Message 1 of 4 (165 Views)
Keyblade Wielder
Registered: 01/05/2006
10140 posts

Re: Xbox Founder speaks out at Microsoft

[ Edited ]
Feb 15, 2013
He is not the first to speak out against them. Just last fall, Christa Charter (Trixie 360) said some things in a podcast as well about the brand and direction they have gone.
Message 2 of 4 (112 Views)
MVP Support
Registered: 05/12/2009
10508 posts

Re: Xbox Founder speaks out at Microsoft

Feb 15, 2013
I heard that interview when it was released, really sucks i used to use my 360 all the time, now i rarely use it.
Message 3 of 4 (105 Views)
Treasure Hunter
Registered: 07/02/2009
7188 posts

Re: Xbox Founder speaks out at Microsoft

Feb 16, 2013

lol.. I dont  think  sony is going under but  xbx is going under trsut me on that.  It was foolish of nintendo to put out new console they should have waited.This their only flaw, it debute wii u  along with  other  console they would be ok.  simple rule of ride the  hype train  of others."Piggybacking"..


 Sony is good form and shape they  all infrastructor to compete on all angles.   Im very afraid for the future of  console gaming , but i know  sony has angles coveered and they  have hand held market..  they have alot back up plans..  As long as they dont do anything stupid   they be the lone  winner of the console war.


Ms made the mistake of  trying to put apple under in  the computer biz now apple is back and  ms is hurting.. it has nothg to do the direction of the company , apple is hitting them on all side of the head and not letting i getting into the gaming buisneess it rumored and hey will fail.


Valve wont be around long either . Niether will these cable companies trying to get rich on gaming from the living rooms..  nintendo  might recover if they do some hard  planning and let a few exclusive  companies go 3rd party titles. Keeping those companies afloat is vital to all of gaming.


MS dont have the  devs to do good games  they only a few and  they invest too much in those few. if they took 100 mill and got a few indy  devs i dont  anyone could touch them this genre, becuase they had the ram and etc but they just didnt do that which is bg mistake on their half regardless of what your trying to do.. Sony took  what 5 million and brought a  boat load of indy devs games   and  they  poured another 20-30 mill into psn  indy devs.. I dont see anyone touch sony next genre.


psn is killing nad kicking everybody backside.. it went  from 0  to 257%  to 450% in  few years.  i dont any of those guy can  do  what psn is doing. they nothing but a prayer and pope is stepping down.. lol..




vp-psn legioniaree group.

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future

Message 4 of 4 (88 Views)