Former Microsoft executive Peter Moore has admitted that the company encouraged PlayStation vs Xbox console wars, but not for the reasons you think.
Moore recently appeared on the Front Office Sports’ podcast where he discussed his time as CEO of one of Premiere League’s top teams, Liverpool FC, the role he took on after his stint at Microsoft heading up all things Xbox.
Needless to say a few interesting facts about his time waging the Xbox 360 Vs PS3 war came to light too.
Today different games consoles from different manufacturers co-exist in harmony with each other, and games usually appear across multiple consoles. However this wasn’t always the case and after upstarts Sony saw off rivals Sega in the first PlayStation battle, it had a new opponent to challenge its PlayStation 2 and 3.
The Xbox and more successfully the Xbox 360 dented PlayStation 2 sales and thrashed the PlayStation 3 under Moore’s tenure.
PlayStation effectively handed Moore victory by making the PlayStation 3 costly, confused (with a wider ‘home entertainment’ brief) and hard to program, while Moore’s 360 was all about gaming, hoovering up exclusives that could only be played on Microsoft’s less powerful, but much more popular console.
Moore says, “We encouraged the console wars, not to create division, but to challenge each other. And when I say each other I mean Microsoft and Sony. If Microsoft hadn’t stuck the course after the Xbox, after the Red Rings of Death, gaming would be a poorer place for it, you wouldn’t have the competition you have today.”
The Red Rings of Death debacle was a spate of hardware failures where consoles would give up and die after some time, displaying a red ring on their front panel rather than the usual green.
Moore famously replaced any broken console for free, Fed-Ex-ing replacement units to customers in a move that cost Microsoft almost $1.2billion.
Moore has had a prestigious gaming career, moving to Microsoft from Sega after the Dreamcast launch, then joining EA, then becoming CEO of his beloved Liverpool FC football team and is currently SVP and GM, Sports and Live Entertainment at top software tools maker Unity.
However, he is perhaps best remembered for the all out war he waged via the highly successful Xbox 360 era with perhaps their biggest coup being securing Grand Theft Auto IV “day one” on 360 (scotching a rumoured Sony exclusive) plus exclusive DLC. Ever the showman, Moore revealed the win at the 2006 E3 event by having the game’s logo ‘tattooed’ on his arm.
Times have changed. Today, despite firms such as Xbox and Sony acquiring the likes of Activision Blizzard (acquired by Microsoft) and Bungie (now owned by Sony) both have still promised that their biggest games will remain on both consoles.