Xbox Founder Predicts Massive Failure for Microsoft

A former Microsoft engineer who helped create the original Xbox and claims to be the person who named the device has spoken out about the direction in which the console is headed, highlighting user experience and indie content as the two critical issues that are leading to failure.

The engineer, Nat Brown, points to the Xbox’s bloated interface and Microsoft’s handling of indie game support and distribution is leading users and potential developers away from the console and toward tablet and smartphone devices. Brown wrote:

xBox’s primary critical problem is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of xBox customers, period. Why can’t I write a game for xBox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home xBox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?

Oh, wait, I can… sort of. Read some of the fine-print at the xBox registered developer program page (that “membership” would cost you $10,000/year and a ton of paperwork, with Microsoft holding veto power over your game being published), navigate the mess through to learning about XBLA (also costly, paperwork and veto approval) and you may end up learning about a carved off little hard-to-find store with a few thousand stunted games referred to as XBLIG where Microsoft has ceded their veto power (and instead just does nothing to promote your games).

This is where indie developers have found they can go in order to not make money on xBox, despite an installed base of 76M devices. Microsoft, you are idiotic to have ceded not just indie game developers but also a generation of loyal kids and teens to making games for other people’s mobile devices.

Brown went on to state that “the device OS and almost the entire user experience outside the first two levels of the dashboard are creaky, slow, and full-of-shit.”

Do you agree with Brown?

via The Next Web

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8 Comments on Xbox Founder Predicts Massive Failure for Microsoft


On February 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

Speaking as a gamer, I buy a gaming platform to play games.
Not to surf the internet.
Not to watch films or play music.
Not to check for updates on FaceTube.
I buy it to play games. As long as it does that, I am happy.


On February 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

SevenCell put it best, as long as I can play games I am happy. Though the Xbox interface is most definitely getting messy, I still put it leagues ahead of the PS3′s.


On February 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

PS3′s interface messy?
I’m sorry, maybe it’s too unclutered and simple for your tastes.


On February 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Same thing for me SevenCell !


On February 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Microsoft has always been shoddy. They spend more time and energy on ads because you dont need a good system you just need to know how to sell a system. Most people are, finally, catching on and with the media outlets word of mouth can have a far deeper impact than ever before. The biggest thing Soft had was lack of competitors but even that is slowly going away. Look at Oyuo (sp). A console that costs you only $100, is completely open to developers, is focused on free to play games and got KickStarted. The days of having to be one of the big boys on the block are ending. The little guy now has the tools and means (namely KickStarter) to break into the game. Its a brand new and wide open world.


On February 14, 2013 at 4:46 am

3 years ago I might have agreed with Sevencell but not any more. People store so much on the PC’s like music and pictures and that coupled with all the media streaming services people need a way to get all that into their living rooms without 5 different peices of kit. Sure a mid range media PC will do all that but why not have a top of the range gaming system that will do it instead ?
I have just relogated my 360 to the bed room just to stream netflix and love film while my PS3 is sat under my 50″ TV going the same job but also for games, streaming from my PC and Playing my Blu Rays.

I was watching a interview with the head of the company behind the soon to be released linux phones and she was saying that the top end models will be powerful enough to plug in a monitor and a keyboard and use as a basic PC at home. It is that kind of verisitility that is going to make or break the next gen consoles. They will need a smart interface and handle all your home entertainment needs.


On February 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

I am not fond of the direction ALL of the nextgen consoles are going in.
+1 on SevenCell’s comment but I would like to add that I am totally sick of motion controls.