Former Microsoft exec says it launched Xbox "to stop Sony"

The original Xbox game console was launched in the fall of 2001, but why did Microsoft want to enter the game console business in the first place? A former Microsoft executive, who recently wrote a book that slammed Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer, says in a new interview that the main reason the company went into the game console industry was to take down a rival: Sony.

IGN reports that in an interview with former Microsoft VP Joachim Kempin, he states: "The main reason was to stop Sony. You see, Sony and Microsoft…they never had a very friendly relationship, okay?"

While Microsoft had apparently wanted to partner up with Sony, the Japanese company always seemed to keep Microsoft at arm's length. When Sony launched the first Playstation, Kempin stated that "Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let’s do our own.'"

Kempin also claims that while he was at Microsoft, he went to its many PC OEM partners and asked them to make the first Xbox. However, he said, "The guys were smart enough not to bite, because they studied the Sony model and saw that Sony could not make money on that hardware model, ever." Microsoft decided to copy Sony's business model for the Xbox; make the hardware themselves, sell it at a loss and make it up with game royalties.

Source: IGN | Image via Microsoft

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