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Kevin Bachus Talks Next-Gen Console Wars 95

conq writes "In a piece on BusinessWeek, former Microsoft exex Kevin Bachus, who was part of the team who pitched the XBox to Bill Gates gives his opinion on the Microsoft/Sony gaming war: '...I believe that regardless of who comes out on top this time, the margin will be the closest it's been since the heady days of Nintendo and Sega. And as always, the winners will be the consumers and the publishers.'"
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Kevin Bachus Talks Next-Gen Console Wars

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  • by Necoras ( 918009 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:04PM (#15149942)
    As the PSP and various other high end systems have proven, it really doesn't matter what kind of hardware you have in your box if your games don't live up to it. I rather hope that next gen games will focus more on being fun to play, and more importantly fun to replay, than just fun to look at. I'm not too optimistic on the MS and Sony front as I've seen the crap titles that launched with the 360 and Sony's too bogged down with hardware problems to worry about listening to users. The Revolution looks promising in it's own way, but if it can't pick up a decent marketshare then all of the gimmiks in the world won't save it. We can only hope that the best games will come out on top, and not the best hardware tech.
  • by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:12PM (#15150036)
    Do you see war somewhere ?
    How someone can speak about war, when only one soldier was there !
    Where PS3 ? Where Revolution ?
    When PS3 ? May be in 2007 ? May be !
    When Revolution ? May be in 2007 ? May Be !
    What a war !
  • Re:War? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:27PM (#15150178) Journal
    Uh, there is no 'war' between Sony and Microsoft.
    Not with only one console on the market, no. PSP vs. 360 is hardly a war. But come December, I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of commercial aggression.

    And there are 360 sitting unsold on store shelves in every major US retailer for over a month now. The 360 is on track to sell no more than three million units this year. That's one dead console.
    Actually, they are selling like crazy in my part of the woods. My area got royally shafted on supplies (I believe we only had 10 in the entire county at launch) and now the waiting list is being taken care of.

    The 360 is a marketplace failure. No one outside of the most diehard of Dreamcast and Xbox fans gives a damn about the system. Notice the major switch to pushing Vista gaming recently by Microsoft... They see the writing on the wall for the Xbox project.
    I noticed this not. Not in EB, not in FYE, not in Rhino, not in the smaller gaming shops, nada.

    The next gen race is going to be brutal between Sony and Nintendo - with Nintendo standing a good chance of actually outselling Sony in Japan this upcoming console cycle and selling probably around N64 levels in the US and Europe. Microsoft is no longer relevant to the console market.
    Nintendo may very well be the sleeper hit this year, but I wouldn't say Microsoft is no longer relevant. Even though I do not want a 360 personally, they seem to have enough features that people are enjoying to continue selling their products in many areas. (Case in point, the waiting list in this area continues to grow daily)

  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:29PM (#15150197)
    After jumping ship from Microsoft to Infinium, like a dot-bomb era flea, Bacchus' opinions are worth next to nothing in my opinion. The man fucked the dog for the sake of a ridiculously obvious scam that's resulted in nothing but ridicule, frivolous lawsuits and vaporware; anything he has to say about the industry he clearly has no understanding of is a desperate attempt to rebuild his annihilated credibility.
  • by LoverOfJoy ( 820058 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:31PM (#15150218) Homepage
    In Japan, the gamecube is winning the current battle against the Xbox 360.
  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @01:24PM (#15150786)
    The buzz on the Revolution is that it will be 3rd-4th Q 2006. Nintendo has been very tight on any information on the Revolution, which is why they havn't needed to say that it is delayed. In a sense this is a good strategy. And don't compair this with "Duke Nukem: Whenever" either... Nintendo has done this in the past and has always come through with the product.

    Personally I am looking forward towards it. They are really the one one that is working on new features other then "bigger, better, faster graphics"... I mean seriously, if you just want bigger, better, faster graphics, get a computer. It will cost you 10x the price but at least you can do other things as well with it.

  • Winners? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by A Brand of Fire ( 640320 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @06:06PM (#15153065) Homepage

    And as always, the winners will be the consumers and the publishers.

    I don't wish to sound so pessimistic here, but I really can't see how -- between the 360 and the PS3 -- the consumers will be winners in this coming console generation (I don't think 'war' applies as it just seems like a pissing contest between Microsoft and Sony). Their development focus seems centered on the wrong things, for one. Number crunching, graphical horsepower, and 3rd party developer support is all fine and well, but it doesn't always make for fun games.

    The biggest issue, though, is price. The 360, adequately equipped with a selection of nearly-requisite accessories, is well over $400. And that's before the first game (I'm not counting Live! content because not everyone has broadband). When the PS3 is released, I suspect, as rumors have suggested, that it's price will be slightly higher. Games in this round are also expected to be more expensive for both consoles, and who wants to pay $70 for a sequel of a sequel that's lackluster at best?

    I remember rolling up into a Toys 'R Us back in the 80s and buying a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System for just under $100US. Yeah, a 'current-gen' console shortly after nation-wide rollout for UNDER ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Unthinkable nowadays, isn't it? Toss in my first game -- The Legend of Zelda -- and I was set and still under the $200 mark. New games? At the time, I rented them. If I liked them, I bought them, and they certainly didn't cost $70.

    Rising cost of living, rising gas prices, and the rising price of sub-standard entertainment (film, music, television, and video games)... I can't see how the consumers are winners.

    I'm not saying there won't be some good games on either console, but it's so bloody expensive. And for gamers on a budget, it's completely out of reach until sometime after the six-month mark when those pennies have been saved and the console price drops a bit. I mean, I don't even get to play many of the new PC games until they get into the $10-$20 bargain level because of financial issues.

    Nintendo, on the other hand, seems better-focused on providing an actual product at a price that's easier to swallow. They seem focused on fun, too, and while I'm sure it'll have its share of games that suck, I feel that the majority will be innovative and entertaining.

    The bottom line for all three companies is to push a product and make a profit, as it is with any company, really, but I believe Nintendo has a better hold on what people are after, and they seem to care more about their customer having fun. And in video games, it's about enjoying yourself. And it doesn't hurt that they also conscientious about costs to the consumer.

    In the end? Well, I'll probably end up buying all three consoles, wallet willing, but I foresee my first purchase in this generation being a Nintendo console.

The absent ones are always at fault.