We’ve been grumbling and moaning around here since E3 of last year about the Xbox 360 and Microsoft’s seemingly all-in strategy with Kinect, but I think that we took solace in the fact that the 360 would remain a bastion for the hardcore in some respects even after Kinect sold 8 million copies this past holiday season. Our hopes may be in vain, however, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently spelled out the company’s long term plan in an interview with USA Today, citing how the Xbox 360 isn’t only made for playing the video games.
“Xbox isn’t a gaming console. Xbox is a family entertainment center. It’s a place to socialize. It’s a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It’s the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.”
Mr. Ballmer goes on to say that while the Xbox has the 15 year old boy demographic nailed down, they’re searching for ways to expand beyond that, into the 15 year old girl and the middle aged market. Things like Kinect will go a long way towards that end, especially after the aforementioned sales bonanza which outstripped Microsoft’s own internal estimations. Sounds like the Xbox only does everything, right?
Mobile applications are also going to be a big focus for the software giant going forward as Steve Ballmer spent a lot of the interview talking about Windows Phone 7 and how most mobile devices are PC like in their processing power.
The main thing I take away from this though, is that the death of the “core” gamer is quickly approaching. While there is an E3 coming up that may be the final nail in the coffin, part of me hopes that there will always be another hardcore offering to appease us. After all, we did help get all these consoles off the ground. Any thoughts on Microsoft’s about-face in their attitude towards gamers? Resentful that they’d rather go after the casual market?
Source: USA Today