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Robbie Bach puts Xbox success down to Sony's mistakes

Robbie Bach puts Xbox success down to Sony's mistakes

Mon 14 May 2012 8:17am GMT / 4:17am EDT / 1:17am PDT
Business

Former Xbox exec attributes part of console's current standing to "really, really bad" transition to PlayStation 3

Former Xbox executive Robbie Bach attributes some of the Xbox 360's success to a series of "not so smart" decisions on the part of its main console rival, Sony.

Speaking at the Northwest Entrepreneur Network - as reported by GeekWire - Bach detailed some of the key decisions that helped secure a place for the Xbox in the console market. However, a number of key factors had nothing to do with Microsoft at all.

"[Sony] mismanaged [its] 70 per cent market share," Bach said. "The transition to PlayStation 3 was really, really bad. And really hard. They mismanaged their partners, they mismanaged their cost structure. They made their next platform so complicated that developers couldn't develop for it."

Bach presided over Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division for much of the Xbox era. During his tenure the console raced ahead of Sony's PlayStation, and Bach emphasised the importance of strong relationships with partners to achieving that goal.

"You need friends. It's just the way life works," he continued. "It turned out we were able to convince retailers and publishers like Activision, Electronic Arts and others, that it was a good thing for Microsoft to be successful, because if we were not successful, the only game in town was Sony.

"Being dependent on somebody else was bad for them, and so they supported us disproportionately to what they should have, mathematically."

Bach left Microsoft in May 2010 to concentrate on non-profit work. He was replaced as president of Entertainment and Devices by Don Mattrick.

6 Comments

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,266 2,405 1.1
Success is always a mix of your correct decisions and the incorrect decisions of your competition.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Kevin Patterson
musician

187 103 0.6
Sony's arrogance in the PS2 and early PS3 days was just astounding. The things that Hirai and Kuturagi said in that time period was amazing. I couldn't support their attitude and never purchased a PS3. I believe that they have learned though and next gen they will be back in full force. I want Sony to succeed, I may just buy a PS4.
With Harrison being at MS now, next console launch will be like living in a bizareo world.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Scott Berfield
Executive Producer

11 0 0.0
I was very sorry to see Robbie go from Microsoft. He was a really classy guy and great to work for. One of the few folks at the company who cared about sonumer products in any serious way.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Rick Cody
PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
Phil Harrison was quoted making PS4 (disc drive-less) predictions around PS3's launch... Even though it was a mistake it was a big one.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Dominic Jakube
Student

92 13 0.1
That year headstart really helped the 360, Sony delaying a year for Blu-Ray lost PS3 sales but it helped win a format war.I just hope now that MS is a major player they dont get to arrogant with their next console by doing things like bundleing kinect and DRM Etc.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Nintendo dominated the North American Market due to Atari's mistakes.
SEGA almost got Nintendo because of what Nintendon't.
SONY dominated the world because of Nintendo's and SEGA's mistakes.
And Microsoft dominated from SONY's mistakes only to be blowen out of the water by Nintendo and even Apple trying to aim for different markets.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

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