In a recent interview with Geek Wire, former Xbox Executive Robbie Bach sat down to talk about his new book, Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal. He also talked about his time at Microsoft and his thoughts of the company’s progress since then. Bach, the former President of Microsoft‘s Entertainment & Devices Division, oversaw the launches of both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360.
From the criticisms of the always-on requirement to the major digital rights management restrictions, the Xbox One had a rocky start when the console launched in Nov 2013. In response to the question, “What were you thinking as you were watching that from afar?” Bach answered, “I think I have two thoughts. The first is, gosh, I think some of that was predictable and preventable. If I’m just honest I would say that.”
Bach went on to say, “These console competitions last 5, 6, 7, 8 years. I think it shows in the marketplace today. I think Xbox One has put almost all of that behind itself. They’ve got a great holiday lineup. They’re gaining share and volume. … The amazing thing is the console market is bigger now than it’s ever been before. Both companies are selling more units.”
On the topic of market share, and that the PS4 is still the significant leader over the Xbox One in terms of units sold, Bach was asked, “Do you feel like they kind of fumbled the momentum you guys had with the Xbox 360?” Bach replied, “You would have liked to have seen them done more with the momentum we had. On the other hand, look at what’s going on on Xbox Live. Incredible momentum on Xbox Live.”
Bach continued, “I think it’s a balance thing. I’m realistic enough. I’ve been gone long enough that I no longer say “we”. I say “they,” which is a good transition to actually make. I can be a little critical. I could also say that the team did what they needed to do. They persevered through a rocky patch, and they’re now on the path to making this a very competitive market.”
Bach also said in the interview that the next generation of consoles probably wouldn’t have physical media.