Microsoft ‘Completely Discounted Nintendo Because Of GameCube’ When Launching Xbox 360

IGN has uploaded an extremely interesting podcast which quizzes Xbox creator Seamus Blackley, Head of Xbox during the 360 launch Peter Moore, and current Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, to share the backstory to the launch of three Xbox consoles. During the podcast it was revealed that when Microsoft was launching the Xbox 360 they completely discounted Nintendo and were focussed at beating Sony with the PlayStation 3. The reason why was that the GameCube wasn’t a success for Nintendo so they didn’t believe the company posed a threat to their plans. However, Phil Spencer conceded that the Wii destroyed both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with regards to sales. Here’s what the key figures at Xbox had to say.

“I also then remember the E3 when, God bless, Kaz Hirai and Jack Tretton announced $599, and we were all back stage like ‘Woohoo!’,” Moore shared in IGN’s Podcast Unlocked. “We knew then we had an opportunity to get ahead, drive ahead, get our games out quickly and get that lead. And I always said that the first to 10 million wins.”

He continued, “It was one of the greatest times of my career. You had to build a team, because we were growing then. We had prematurely put the Xbox to sleep, we needed to get ready for this and we knew what we needed to do.

“We had a three-day meeting at the Sheraton in Bellevue where we wargamed the scenario, and I actually played Ken Kutaragi. And we brought in a consultancy, it was a lot of fun. And the one thing we’d forgotten about, I don’t know if you remember this Phil [Spencer], we completely discounted Nintendo. Because they came off the GameCube and it was a disaster.”

Spencer added, “…and they destroyed both of us!”

Moore continued, “Yes, with the Wii. But we wargamed for three days, what are you going to do, what do the launch titles look like, what are the marketing budgets, what is the positioning? And it was a fascinating experience which I’ll never forget. And this is a decade ago. And I actually played Ken, and my job was to destroy the launch of the Xbox 360.”

Nintendo World Championships To Be Held In The Microsoft Theater

The Nintendo World Championships as you all know will be held in the Nokia Theatre La Live. The interesting thing is that the theatre, which has played host to a number of events, is now called the Microsoft Theatre. So no doubt the place will be littered with Microsoft and Xbox branding for the Nintendo World Championships. So if you’re attending and think you’ve got the wrong place, well think again.

Microsoft Once Thought About Acquiring Nintendo When Launching Original Xbox

GamesIndustry has an interesting interview with Seamus Blackley who was the original Xbox co-creator and also Lorne Lanning who created the Oddworld series. In the enlightening interview, Blackley revealed that the team had all sorts of big ideas before launching the original Xbox including acquiring Nintendo and also giving away the Xbox for free. None of these things obviously happened, but it’s interesting to read some of the grand plans that the original team had. Lanning also mentioned that the Xbox team said they needed “something that competes in that Mario space and we think Mario’s the thing to kill” so they brought out Oddworld as a launch title and gave developers the idea that they were going to be giving out the Xbox for free.

“At the time, Xbox thought that the core market was going to be casual. They were going to be the casual gamers’ machine. Now, that’s why they approached us because they said ‘we think you’ve got something that competes in that Mario space and we think Mario’s the thing to kill … We see that space. We want that audience. We love Oddworld so why don’t you get on this bandwagon? And we might give the box away’,”

Blackley noted that a number of other ideas were pushed around at Microsoft too. Some people said Xbox should be focused on playing movies, or that all the games would have to be made by Microsoft. Some even pushed the notion that Microsoft should make a huge play and just gobble up Nintendo. “Just name it, name a bad idea and it was something we had to deal with,” Blackley lamented.

Microsoft Discusses DDoS Attacks With Nintendo

The head of Microsoft‘s Xbox, Phil Spencer, has revealed that he’s been in discussions with Nintendo and other companies about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Speaking with Game Informer, Spencer explained how Microsoft doesn’t benefit when a competitor’s servers or network resources are interrupted. Instead, Spencer says, fear and distrust is instilled in the consumer when such an attack happens.

“I don’t think it’s great when PSN goes down,” Spencer said. “It doesn’t help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that’s out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we’re learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great.”

Wii U Is The Second Best-Selling Current Console In France

France seems to love Nintendo, and that’s great. So far the Wii U is the second best-selling video game console in the country. The PlayStation 4 has taken the lead with one million consoles sold and the Wii U is next with 490K. The Xbox One is currently last, selling 330K. However, things are different in the United Kingdom, which is the biggest video game market in Europe. Here’s the figures for France.

France Current-Gen Hardware Sales

  • PS4: 1.000.000
  • Wii U: 490.000
  • XBO: 300.000 – 330.000

European PlayStation 4 Rankings:

  1. UK – 1.5 Million
  2. Germany – 1.2 Million
  3. France – 1 Million

Thanks, Seamus

Sounds Like Xbox One Lifetime Sales Have Overtaken Wii U Worldwide

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Devices and Studios at Microsoft, has announced that the company has sold in to retailers more than 10 million Xbox One consoles. We found out that Nintendo has sold 7 million Wii U console since the system launched back in 2012. Medhi also announced that Xbox One sales in the United States have risen dramatically due to the price cut and that they’re currently outselling the PlayStation 4.

The response to this wave of blockbuster game releases and new bundles has been amazing, and sales have skyrocketed since the new price took effect on Nov. 2. Compared to the previous week, Xbox One sales in the US have more than tripled, which is exciting as more and more friends will be playing together this holiday. As we head into the busy holiday season Xbox One led generation 8 console sales in the US for the past two weeks.  Shortly, we will have sold in to retailers more than 10 million Xbox One consoles.

Microsoft Unveils Its Own Quality Of Life Product That Also Tracks A User’s Sleep

Nintendo partially explained its first Quality of Life product today which measure a user’s fatigue and maps their sleep. Not to be outdone Microsoft has also announced today that it plans to release a similar device which tracks a user’s sleep and also exercise. However, the Microsoft Band is a wearable device whereas Nintendo’s first Quality of Life product is a standalone device. You can read more about the Microsoft Band, right here.

“Consumers now have an overwhelming choice of health-related cloud platforms to choose from. They can be forgiven for being confused by the multitude of options. It’s going to be a tough decision to choose whether to place their loyalty with Apple, Google or Microsoft given the immaturity of all three platforms.”

– Ben Wood from CCS Insight told the BBC.