Joachim Kempin used to be VP for Windows sales at Microsoft, and has since gone on to write a book about his experiences with the software giant. He recently gave an interview for IGN, in which he was asked for details on Microsoft's motivation to launch a dedicated games console in late 2001.
"The main reason was to stop Sony," he said, explaining that Sony and Microsoft did not have a very comfortable relationship, but asserting that this wasn't Microsoft's intention.
"Sony was always very arm's length with Microsoft. Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft's friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have co-operated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know?" Kempin added.
Bill Gates looked upon Sony's home consoles as potentially being a threat to Microsoft's business, as the PlayStation platform could evolve beyond the gaming space and be used for purposes that clash with personal computer usage.
So Microsoft decided the best way to protect itself was to seek to beat Sony in the game space, launching the Xbox in 2001 and then following it up with the Xbox 360 in 2005.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 7 Feb 2013 6:29