Former VP says Microsoft wanted to stop Sony.

#1 Posted by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

http://www.polygon.com/2013/2/6/3961296/microsoft-sony-console-business

former VP of microsoft comes clean on this polygon story that apparently microsoft entered the console business to primarily stop sony.

"Sony was always very arm's length with Microsoft," Kempin said. "Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft's friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have cooperated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know? I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own.'"

very fascinating

#2 Posted by Patman99 (1558 posts) -

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

#3 Edited by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

@Patman99 said:

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

lol

i find it still very fascinating though that apparently one of the drives for microsoft to get into the console business was to go against sony.

#4 Posted by Icemo (642 posts) -

"I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own."

Are they talking about PS1 or PS2? If they are talking about PS1 then Microsoft planned to make Xbox for 7 years, or if they talk about PS2 then they planned for 2 years. That sentence indicates that Sony's first console was the inspiration but that can't be true.

#5 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3786 posts) -

@Icemo: I dunno MS spent about 4 years developing the original Surface (what is now Pixelsense) I could see developing a new console taking a long time. You might be right but I could see it taking 7 years from initial idea to production.

#6 Posted by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

@Icemo said:

"I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own."

Are they talking about PS1 or PS2? If they are talking about PS1 then Microsoft planned to make Xbox for 7 years, or if they talk about PS2 then they planned for 2 years. That sentence indicates that Sony's first console was the inspiration but that can't be true.

its what i quoted from the polygon story, *shrug*

maybe microsoft really did look at the ps1 and went into long R&D afterwards concepting the xbox., and then let the ps2 launch first i believe and then release the xbox.

hell that seems like probably still their strategy, as most likely sony is going first with their reveal of the ps4 on the 20th, and then microsoft.

still very fascinating to me that they are very combative against sony.

#7 Edited by GaspoweR (2802 posts) -

@Icemo said:

"I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own."

Are they talking about PS1 or PS2? If they are talking about PS1 then Microsoft planned to make Xbox for 7 years, or if they talk about PS2 then they planned for 2 years. That sentence indicates that Sony's first console was the inspiration but that can't be true.

Well, seven years actually isn't really that far-fetched. They needed to do a lot of R & D since they were coming into a space that they had no experience in. At the very least, they had to do enough R & D for the first three or four years gathering enough data before they started doing prototypes and making development kits. Maybe also during that time they were just being slow with it and then they started to ramp up around the time the PS 2 was going to be released.

#8 Posted by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

@GaspoweR said:

@Icemo said:

"I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own."

Are they talking about PS1 or PS2? If they are talking about PS1 then Microsoft planned to make Xbox for 7 years, or if they talk about PS2 then they planned for 2 years. That sentence indicates that Sony's first console was the inspiration but that can't be true.

Well, seven years actually isn't really that far-fetched. They needed to do a lot of R & D since they were coming into a space that they had no experience in. At the very least, they had to do enough R & D for the first three or four years gathering enough data before they started doing prototypes and making development kits.

exactly

#9 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

It's a shame business is so underhanded.

#10 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@mandude said:

It's a shame business is so underhanded.

I call it healthy competition.

#11 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

healthy competition.

#12 Posted by august (3827 posts) -

Yeah those MIcrosoft guys are big meanies wanting to compete with other tech companies in the marketplace. (!?!)

#13 Edited by KaneRobot (1418 posts) -

Not sure why this would surprise anyone. It's no different than why Sony got in to begin with. There's money to be made there, let's do something to make more money than whoever is making money now. It's not like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, or whoever is in this because they love "the art of video games" or some such bullshit.

#14 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2563 posts) -
@mrfluke said:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/2/6/3961296/microsoft-sony-console-business

former VP of microsoft comes clean on this polygon story that apparently microsoft entered the console business to primarily stop sony.

"Sony was always very arm's length with Microsoft," Kempin said. "Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft's friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have cooperated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know? I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own.'"

very fascinating

What we read above does not seem to fit with Seamus Blackley's account of how XBOX came about, nor does it seem to fit Dean Takahashi interviews with Microsoft employees who actully worked on the project.  If you look into who Jachim Kempin was it is clear he was not in the XBOX loop.  Moreover, what he has been saying about Microsoft lately and how the compnay is run seems a bit...err singular in viewpoint.  Without a doubt Microsoft was interested in consumer hardware and getting into the living room, but this new view of events seems lack support from what was written is a few dozen interview articles and at least one book written in the last decade.
#15 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@jozzy said:

@mandude said:

It's a shame business is so underhanded.

I call it healthy competition.

It's not as though there is any banter or playful dialogues exchanged between Microsoft and Sony. Competition might be healthy in certain ways, but it can't be argued that no one is going to feel any ill effects from the kinds of tactics businesses employ.

#16 Posted by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

@august said:

Yeah those MIcrosoft guys are big meanies wanting to compete with other tech companies in the marketplace. (!?!)

your right, but usually imo its not so direct as what that polygon story implies though.

#17 Posted by KaneRobot (1418 posts) -

@MonkeyKing1969 said:

@mrfluke said:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/2/6/3961296/microsoft-sony-console-business

former VP of microsoft comes clean on this polygon story that apparently microsoft entered the console business to primarily stop sony.

"Sony was always very arm's length with Microsoft," Kempin said. "Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft's friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have cooperated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know? I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own.'"

very fascinating

What we read above does not seem to fit with Seamus Blackley's account of how XBOX came about, nor does it seem to fit Dean Takahashi interviews with Microsoft employees who actully worked on the project. If you look into who Jachim Kempin was it is clear he was not in the XBOX loop. Moreover, what he has been saying about Microsoft lately and how the compnay is run seems a bit...err singular in viewpoint. Without a doubt Microsoft was interested in consumer hardware and getting into the living room, but this new view of events seems lack support from what was written is a few dozen interview articles and at least one book written in the last decade.

Not directly related, but I really need to reread those Takahashi books about the two XBox consoles. The first one was especially interesting.

#18 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

@Patman99 said:

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

lol

i find it still very fascinating though that apparently one of the drives for microsoft to get into the console business was to go against sony.

Which is funny because Sony sort of got in the business to spite Nintendo for disbanding their partnership.

#19 Posted by Hailinel (23885 posts) -
@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.
#20 Posted by believer258 (11633 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.

Hmmm... they seem to be doing better now, though. I don't have any sort of numbers but if they aren't making any sort of profit now then they should probably give up.

...

...

...oh, man. What if Microsoft simply doesn't release another Xbox and just lets the 360 peter out? And then it will be just Sony, Nintendo, and PC's?

#21 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Well they failed and ran their console into the ground. Lack of exclusives and poor software.

Bit weird considering how far ahead the 360 was initially, those first two years were terrible for the PS3.

#22 Posted by mrfluke (5090 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.

i believe they turned a profit the same time the ps3 did. both companies are turning a profit after so long now.

#23 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

@Icemo said:

"I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let's do our own."

Are they talking about PS1 or PS2? If they are talking about PS1 then Microsoft planned to make Xbox for 7 years, or if they talk about PS2 then they planned for 2 years. That sentence indicates that Sony's first console was the inspiration but that can't be true.

its what i quoted from the polygon story, *shrug*

maybe microsoft really did look at the ps1 and went into long R&D afterwards concepting the xbox., and then let the ps2 launch first i believe and then release the xbox.

hell that seems like probably still their strategy, as most likely sony is going first with their reveal of the ps4 on the 20th, and then microsoft.

still very fascinating to me that they are very combative against sony.

I would beleave that it took 7 years if the original xbox wasn't just a pc with directx on it. If it takes 7 years to figure out that the best you can do is run the thing you can do is run windows on a tower.

Although I might beleave it took 7 years to send J Allared to Tool school.

#24 Posted by ssj4raditz (1125 posts) -

*gasp!* A company wanted to compete with a rival? ...Heaven forbid!

#25 Posted by GnaTSoL (791 posts) -

Some classic WCW vs WWE going on in here. :D

#26 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1439 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.

Aside from that being wrong, they have been making a profit on the 360 for several years now, even when they weren't making a profit on each individual consoles they were still getting millions of suckers (myself included) to spend $50 a year for Xbox Live. They have indeed been tremendously successful.

Online
#27 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.

Not making a profit for a while doesn't mean Microsoft wasn't tremendously successful with what they set out to do. Creating an entire division of a company along with the software and hardware for the products itself, the many partner deals, ect...it's a lot to pay for up front to suddenly compete in an oligopoly. I mean, if anyone could do it Microsoft could but taking a while to finally get into the black doesn't mean that Microsoft has been unsuccessful.

#28 Edited by EXTomar (4496 posts) -

I was initially surprised but then I remembered that Microsoft has a recent history of misreading threats. Microsoft is trying to kill Apple in the mobile space when Google is really their threat. Microsoft trying to kill Google in cloud server space when it was really Amazon that was their real threat. Doing everything they could to mess with Oracle and OpenOffice when it turns out that their real competition for office product was Google... So on and so on.

So I shouldn't be that surprised when it turns out that they though Sony was a threat when really they weren't.

#29 Posted by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

I figured this went without saying. Also there were probably a bunch of other reasons. Like revenue.

Online
#30 Posted by Patman99 (1558 posts) -

@Brendan said:

@Hailinel said:

@Patman99

I think Microsoft has been tremendously successful with developing their own console(s). In reality, I want both companies to be successful and drive each other to better and better places. And uhhh, Nintendo too.

Haha. Microsoft hasn't been tremendously successful. They struggled for most of a decade to turn a profit on their hardware.

Not making a profit for a while doesn't mean Microsoft wasn't tremendously successful with what they set out to do. Creating an entire division of a company along with the software and hardware for the products itself, the many partner deals, ect...it's a lot to pay for up front to suddenly compete in an oligopoly. I mean, if anyone could do it Microsoft could but taking a while to finally get into the black doesn't mean that Microsoft has been unsuccessful.

This is what I was getting at. The Xbox and Xbox 360 are two great consoles. Granted, the 360 has a reputation for not being the most durable, but it is still a great console (as is the PS3 and Wii). Microsoft essentially went from being a tangent when discussing video games to being extremely recognizable in the medium. I mean just look at all the multiplatform games whose quicklook is done on the 360. That doesn't mean it is better than the PS3 but in terms of prominence, it is definitely there. I would define that as a sort of success.

According to Wikipedia, the Xbox sold 24 million units from it's launch in 2001/2002 to 2006. The 360 sold 75 million units from it's launch until 2012. So at least in relative terms, Microsoft has been successful.

#31 Posted by Fattony12000 (7044 posts) -

Wait, what? I thought everyone knew this back in 1999. Sony were THE thing in video games at that time and Microsoft wanted, nay, needed a piece of that sweet video game pie.

#32 Posted by ShadowMoses900 (190 posts) -

They didn't succeed, but they did give them a run for their money.

I don't want anyone to be "stopped", we need the competition and Sony is my favorite company/system in the industry.

#33 Posted by manicraider (85 posts) -

It's a shame when a competitor wants to do better than the other guy. They should all be helping each other make great games and profit. [/sarcasm]

#34 Edited by VoshiNova (1640 posts) -

I've noticed Polygon providing some awesome reads - thanks for the heads up.

EDIT: source IGN....nvm

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