Looking at the hardware field these days, with Sony no way near the big player it used to be in TVs, it almost seems unnecessary, however according to ex vice president at Microsoft, Joachim Kempin, the software giant created the original Xbox to curb Sony’s advance as the top media hardware company in the world.
Ultimately Microsoft wanted to prevent Sony from achieving the dominance on TVs that Microsoft had on PCs at the time.
“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.’”
According to MCVUK, it was initially intended that a PC manufacturer would build the new console, but when that didn’t work out, Microsoft simply decided to do it all on its lonesome. Kempin explained that this was hardly a bad move though, since console hardware barely makes any money and is often sold at a loss. The only way to do it was to make money from the software, something Microsoft could do.
This is the second time in recent weeks we’ve heard from Kempin. The last time he spoke out he talked of how current CEO at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, would force out potential successors to himself.
KitGuru Says: It’s interesting to think of a world where the Xbox never came to be. We wouldn’t have the online gaming setup that we have now, unless the Dreamcast would have led the way instead. What do you guys think?