Robbie Bach, the former president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, spoke out at the end of last week at the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, crediting some of the success of the Xbox gaming brand in general to a series of "really not so smart things" conducted by their chief rival in the industry - Sony.
“Some of the success of Xbox was due to the fact that Sony did some really not so smart things," said Bach. "They mismanaged their 70 percent market share. It’s a long conversation. 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.”
The headstart that the Xbox 360 got on the PS3 can't be ignored either, even if many of the consoles in those first 12 months and beyond ended up in the bin thanks to the dreaded Red Ring of Death - a period that led to a billion-dollar write-off, and a period that Bach terms “the most painful thing in my life".
In contrast, Bach praised Apple's conduct over the last few years, acknowledging that the company behind the iPod "made very, very few mistakes" in the last decade, even if they didn't see eye to eye on everything.
“They have made very, very few mistakes over the last 10 years," he continued. "It’s remarkable, actually. I give them a lot of credit. I don’t always agree with everything they do, but they’ve made remarkably few mistakes. If you’re in a startup and your competition doesn’t make mistakes, the world is a hard place, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have.” [Geekwire]