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