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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 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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