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Microsoft has no intentions of giving up on the console market

Dean Takahashi of A+E Interactive recently had the chance to sit down and chat with Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner. Turner, who has previously worked through the ranks of Wal-Mart and was once the president of Sam's Club, has a lot on his plate as of now at Microsoft and oversees products ranging from Windows Vista to the XBOX 360.

In the interview, Turner discusses a number of issues including Microsoft's broad scope for its "digital lifestyle" initiative which includes products like the XBOX 360 and Zune as well the company's current hemorrhaging of money in the games division:

q: What do you think as a business person. These guys started up the business. They anticipated losing money. They did lose billions in the first round. When you think of those numbers, it's so high stakes. You either come out of it like Sony, or come out of it sinking billions into a crazy business. For a business, that can be very scary.

a: In those four pillars, it's important for us to have multiple pillars for growth. We think we are uniquely positioned to be able to invest what it takes to be successful in areas like entertainment and gaming. People forget. Steve reminds me it to seven, eight, or nine years before Windows was profitable. People forget that. We're in it for the long term. This is a company committed to invest for the long term. We would like to make money quickly. But that's not what changes the world. That's not what innovation allows you to do. Regardless of what you look at, it takes a lot of years. This is a company that is committed to sticking to things that we believe in. Certainly, this is a space we believe in.

Microsoft has a lot invested in the XBOX brand and it has a lot of cash on hand to drag it along for quite some time. The original XBOX was a moderate sales success (despite the large monetary losses for Microsoft), while the current XBOX 360 is coming slower out of the gate than its predecessor. Whether that's because customers are waiting to see what the PlayStation 3 offers or because the XBOX 360 doesn't yet have that "killer app" remains to be seen. Regardless, the next two months should be an interesting time for Microsoft as we should see a number of new peripherals released for the XBOX 360 including the Wireless Racing Wheel and the external HD DVD drive. And there's also that tiny little game that no one's ever heard of: Gears of War or something like that…

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By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 1:12:21 PM , Rating: 0
If Xbox games are so good then how come they don't sell as well as games for the other platforms?

And no, Halo doesn't count. Shouldn't a killer app be considered something available on one console and one console only? If not, then there is no reason to pick one over the other. A killer app is something so good it makes you say, "damn, this is available nowhere else so I'm going to buy this game and the facilities to play it no matter what the cost."

Therefore, Halo is not a killer app, since it's available on PC.

By NotAok on 10/10/2006 1:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
bullshit, halo IS a killer app and always will be. First off it's not like it came out for pc the same day as it did for pc, there was a HUGE gap between the two. Second, Halo for xbox was/is superior in my eyes (and a lot of others). I Still play Halo to this day with my friends whenever we get together. This kind of experience wouldn't have been the same had it only been for pc. Sure we could play online, but to have 12-16 people all in the same room battling it out is one hell of a good time and is what makes Halo so great.

By Xavian on 10/10/2006 1:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
hate to say it, but hes right. You'll never see a Zelda game on the PC, you'll never see Mario or Shadow of Collusus or even God of War on the PC.

It isn't really a 'killer-app' if you can get it on another platform.

By webdawg77 on 10/10/2006 1:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well, technically Zelda can be played on the PC ... emulation anyone? The fact is eventually any console game can be remade or emulated on a PC. So, with that in mind, there could be no killer apps ... well, unless you define a killer app as being "solely" or "primarily" on one medium. A company will always release it again if there's the potential to make money, especially with the PC gaming industry being so much more than the console industry.

If you consider that, then yes Halo was a killer app for the original Xbox. Although it did come out on the PC, I hardly think people were saying "hey, I could get the Xbox and play Halo now, or I think I'll wait and see if it comes out on the PC almost 2 years later." That amount of time in gaming is ages. No one will think that waiting that long for a game to become available on another medium is realistic ... or sane.

Halo on Xbox - 11/7/01
Halo on PC - 10/2/03

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 1:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
LOL Emulation...You have me there. I would say it doesn't matter because most of the newer consoles haven't been cracked yet, but can you say PSP? It was what, 2 weeks before someone cracked it?

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 1:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nope as soon as it was released on PC it stopped being a killer app.

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 2:01:28 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe we're using the wrong terminology. A killer app, according to wiki is an application that shows a previously unknown potential. A killer game a video game that is popular to the extent that many buy a particular video game console or upgrade their computer hardware simply to play it. If that's true, and you already have a computer powerful enough to play something like Halo, then that makes it not a killer game.

What I'm saying is that Oblivion is probably one of the most popular games to come out on 360 so far. But Microsoft failed to release it as a 360 exclusive. Same with Halo, and soon Halo 2. If you like the Xbox, then you better tell Microsoft that they need to stop releasing games on other platforms or they'll screw their own console over.


By NotAok on 10/10/2006 2:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
lol, you guys act as if Microsoft had just recently been formed and is only providing video game content. Obviously, given their history, they're going to push games onto the pc platform too. They're a business out to make money and if re-releasing a game that came out two years ago on pc gets them more money then why not?

Do you guys honestly think Nintendo or Sony wouldn't do the same had they the same power or connections as Microsoft?

By DaveSylvia on 10/10/2006 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
A killer game doesn't necessarily require that a game be exclusive to one system for eternity. Just look at GTA3 when it first came out for PS2. Yes, at the time it was exclusive, just like how Halo was exclusive to Xbox when it first came out. That game definitely is considered a killer game or app because of the fact that many people purchased PS2 hardware just to play it. Now that very same game is out for the Xbox and PC and this suddenly makes it not a killer app?

Final Fantasy 7 was a killer app for the PSX but that was also released on the PC (albeit it was a terrible port). Likewise, even though Halo was released (TWO YEARS LATER) for the PC, this doesn't change the fact that it drove people to purchase Xbox hardware. This is the main poing: a killer game or app is a product that motivates the purchase of existing hardware. It doesn't matter if it becomes available elsewere.

P.S. Oblivion isn't a killer game because it has't raised people's desire to purchase an Xbox360. The fact that its on the PC too is irrelevant.

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 3:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
Then the end conclusion is there is no reason to buy a 360 at all.

By NotAok on 10/10/2006 3:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
By that logic I'm assuming you feel the same way towards the PS3 and PC gaming... They're all relative, each platform receives games that are exclusive and games that end up elsewhere. So if you feel the 360 is useless then I see no reason why you would enjoy any other system.

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 1:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you.

Please see post below about pissing off people who like Halo for an interesting time.

By Alpha4 on 10/10/2006 4:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Doth ye all forget Metal Gear Solid 2?

Its PC release did nothing to diminish its standing as a killer app.

By glennpratt on 10/10/2006 2:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
You mean EB Games are filled with idiots and fanboys of all sorts right? I mean, I bought DOA4 there and the guy said Congrats on buying the only half decent game for 360, in a superior/nerdy sort of way.

By encryptkeeper on 10/10/2006 3:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
Gamestop isn't quite as bad, but EB Games is HORRIBLE. Those self-righteous idiots would piss off even the most faithful Microsoft fan.

By FITCamaro on 10/10/2006 1:46:31 PM , Rating: 4
Halo wasn't available on the PC until 2 years after it came out for the Xbox. Halo 2 isn't even out yet for the PC either. I saw previews for Halo a year before the Xbox came out and went out and preordered mine for $10. Picked it up on day 2. Sure new Halo games are eventually available on the PC but when it comes out it has the "I can't get this anywhere else" status. Halo 3 might change that since development between the Xbox360 and Vista isn't that different using the XNA platform.

The Halo franchise is the biggest on the Xbox and is the reason hundreds of thousands bought their Xbox. The GTA series has always been available on the PC after it comes out on PS2 or whatever other console. Are you saying it wasn't one of Sony's killer games despite the fact that it sold 2-3 million copies in the first year alone?

Microsoft has been slow to get the good games out the door but this has always been the case. It was a year before the PS2 ever saw any major titles other than GT3. You think the PS3 Final Fantasy games are going to be available at launch? It always takes a year before really really good games come out because it takes a while for the developers to get used to the new hardware and discover all the neat tricks they can do. Look how far the GTA series has come with the meager resources of the PS2. And the differences between Halo and Halo 2.

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