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.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has announced via Twitter that he will participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. He was recently asked by Phil Spencer, who is head of Xbox, if he would join him in the challenge. The event is to raise awareness for ALS research.
Thanks, Holonboy and Kallum S
Phil Spencer, who is the head of Xbox, recently participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and has asked Reggie Fils Aime, Shuhei Yoshida and Gabe Newell, to do the same. Spencer has said that he will donate money that he has raised into ALS research. The ALS Association is an organisation that raises money for research for those individuals who have Lou Gehrig’s disease. Would you like to see Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime participate?
Thanks, no po ro po
PlayStation’s American VP of marketing John Koller, claims that a third of people who own a PlayStation 4 have moved from Nintendo and Xbox to Sony’s brand. The research that Koller cites suggests that 31 percent of Playstation 4 owners had an Xbox 360 or Wii, but not a PlayStation 3 in the previous console generation. The same research claims that a staggering 17 percent of PlayStation 4 owners didn’t own a last gen console. Here’s what Koller had to say.
“The person that we’ve picked up since launch primarily is someone we call the connoisseur, someone that loves, unequivocally, loves games.”
“They are the people who, when you walk in [to their home], there’s no books on their book shelves. They’re all game packages. They’re the people who stood in line at midnight [for the console’s launch]. They really are a fantastic consumer for us. They’re a great part of the PlayStation nation.”
“Koller also added that among early PS4 buyers are also a higher than expected number of “indulgers” who were described as “people that are traditionally a little bit more price-sensitive or down the funnel that have kind of bucked the trend as it were”
Famed video game analyst Michael Pachter has told investors that he doesn’t believe that it is beyond the possibility that Nintendo will completely kill off the Wii U completely before 2016. Pachter also said that he believes Microsoft could reduce Xbox One price faster than it forecasted, if it feels the need to. With regards to Wii U Pachter expects the console to sell 20 million units if Nintendo slash the pricing by 50 percent.
“The Xbox One could see a reduction in RRP earlier than previously anticipated, according to one US analyst. “We think ‘winning’ is important to both companies,” Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter told investors.”
“It is possible that Microsoft will reduce Xbox One pricing far faster than we have forecasted. Should hardware prices come down faster than we have modelled, it is likely that hardware and software sales will grow faster.” As it stands, however, Pachter believes Sony is the winner elect with forecasted sales by the end of 2016 of 37.7m units, 30 per cent ahead of Xbox One’s predicted 29m.
“Pachter, ever a fan of Wii U, predicts 20m sales of that console in the same time period – and that’s on the presumption that Nintendo cuts the price by 50 per cent. He also says that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Nintendo will kill the console completely before 2016.”
Nintendo of America President and fan favorite Reggie Fils-Aime recently told IGN that unlike its competitors, Nintendo values games, fun and entertainment value as opposed to advanced technology. Perhaps invigorated by Nintendo’s onslaught of announcements Wednesday, Fils-Aime took several brazen jabs at Microsoft and Sony, at one point responding to the thought of their respective launch lineups with the word “Meh.”
Fils-Aime was quick to point out that Nintendo is no slouch in the tech department either, with Nintendo TVii using cloud technology while Wii U and 3DS support cross-platform gaming. But he repeatedly emphasized that Nintendo’s focus is on gaming and fun. His comments were likely directed at Microsoft in particular, whose initial plans for the Xbox One emphasized TV-based technologies and left gamers irate. Some of Reggie’s comments appear below.
“The competitive systems have announced their launch lineups. I’m allowed to say ‘Meh.’ I look at our lineup of titles and I feel good about our lineup. We’ve got Zelda. We’ve got Mario. We’ve got Donkey Kong. In addition to great titles like Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101, I feel very good about our lineup….And so I think as you compare and contrast Nintendo with other players in the space, for us it’s about games, about the fun, about the entertainment value, and not about the tech.”
Electronic Arts, who recently stopped developing for Wii U due to poor system sales, seems to be eager to bury the hatchet with Nintendo. Vice President of EA’s Sports division, Andrew Wilson, has stated that his company has a “tremendous relationship” with Nintendo, and assured gamers that Wii U games may very well be developed by EA in the not-too-distant future.
EA recently announced that FIFA 14, which is conspicuously missing from Wii U in its console lineup, would be free with Xbox One preorders. This move has left many wondering if EA now favors Microsoft, however, another EA executive, Frank Gibeau, laid that theory to rest, saying there is “no strategic tilt”.
Wilson’s comment about Nintendo appears below.
“We’re not building for Nintendo right now, but we have a tremendous relationship with them and have had a long relationship with them, and should it make sense for us to do so in the future we’ll absolutely roll that into the plan.”