Robbie Bach puts Xbox success down to Sony's mistakes

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.

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Latest comments (6)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Success is always a mix of your correct decisions and the incorrect decisions of your competition.
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Kevin Patterson musician 8 years ago
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.
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Scott Berfield Executive Producer, University of Washington8 years ago
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.
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Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 8 years ago
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.
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Dominic Jakube Student 8 years ago
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.
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Tony Johns8 years ago
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.
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