Microsoft has been patting itself on the back this week for its successful Xbox business, saying that it has now sold a total of 76 million Xbox 360 consoles, along with 24 million Kinect add-on devices. It also says it now has 46 million Xbox Live members.
One man who was part of the original Xbox team believes, however, that Microsoft's "success" with the Xbox in the last few years has not really been Microsoft's doing. In fact, he believes that it's all due to the failures of Sony and Nintendo in the console business. That man is Nat Brown and he posted his thoughts on the current Xbox business in a blog post this week on his personal site, ILIKE.CODE.
Brown worked at Microsoft from 1990 to 1999, two years before the launch of the original Xbox. However, before he left he was part of the engineering team that sold the Xbox idea to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. In fact, Brown takes credit for coming up with the name "Xbox".
In his blog post, Brown faults Microsoft for not offering smaller developers a better way to sell games on the console. While Microsoft offers some form of this support in Xbox Live Indie Games, Brown counters that it should be much easier. He says:
Why can’t I write a game for xBox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home xBox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?
Brown also feels that the OS and user interface in the current Xbox 360 is "creaky, slow, and full-of-s***", adding, "You don’t turn on your xBox to play a game quickly — it takes multiple minutes to load, flow through its splash screens, and then get you playing."
Brown also repeats what Valve founder Gabe Newell stated a few weeks ago. Brown believes Apple could launch an effort to be more present in the living room which could "simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox." Brown end his blog post by saying:
xBox just needs somebody with a brain and focus to get the product in order tactically before romping forward to continue the long-term strategic promise of an xBox in every living room, connected to every screen.
Source: ILIKE.CODE | Image via Microsoft