XBox 360 - Reaching 1 billion people? - Interesting interview of J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, June 1, 2005

J Allard (Microsoft Corporate Vice President), who heads Microsoft’s video-game efforts, has boldly predicted that one billion people will eventually play games on the new console. In an interesting interview J Allard provides rather insightful comments on XBox 360 and on Microsoft’s viewpoints in general. I think you are going to enjoy this.

On being asked about the 1 billion prediction - “Well, we force everybody to go buy new hardware every five years. That helps.”
So now you know why every new version of Windows makes existing hardware obsolete. As an wise man said - “What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away.”
Not only do they force new software (with tons of useless features) but they also force new hardware on you, at your expense in case you have forgotten.

He mentions the benefits of adopting wireless communications for XBox and I agree. It will significantly improve usability of the device.

“Then the last thing that we’re really thinking about is the content itself and making it more inviting.”
Why is it the last thing? Shouldn’t it be the very first thing? After all what is the value of XBox 360, or Playstation 2 for that matter, without great games to accompany it?
Unless you are talking about hacking this into a generic computer, which will indeed be a cheap price for such hardware.

“We have one formula with Halo: Ship it when it’s ready.”
“that’s the Xbox team’s philosophy.”
Doesn’t the rest of Microsoft ship products when it is ready? I wish they adopted this principle(sic) with the rest of their product line. I appars they have decided to “think different”.

He commented XBox 360 will be priced around 300$. Actually I think that is the limit of what you can charge for a gaming system, at least today, if you want to have an iota of chance to less it to the mass.

On a side note, imagine how great it will be to get a generic PC with the spec of 360 at this pricepoint.

Why is Microsoft called - “Master of the Obvious”? Let me give yet another example.

Q: When exactly will you release the 360?
A. When it’s done and we’ve got enough of them.

Wasn’t that informative? That reminds me of this old joke about a helicopter pilot who lost course over Seattle due to electrical malfunction…

Q: A couple of reports have mentioned that the Xbox 360 games you and your partners are demonstrating are running on emulators on Apple’s Macintosh computers. Did Bill Gates grit his teeth when he read that?
A. The Xbox team thinks different!

It is ironic from multiple angles. The next question captures it in part.

Q: They think different? I like that. I’m sure Steve Jobs would like that, too!

Overall I think XBox 360 may give Sony a run for its money. However if history is any indicator I would be wary to discount Sony. They have a significant mindshare. Last time around Microsoft lost over 2 billion dollars competing with Sony.


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