There are two really big quotes from current Unity boss and former EA CEO John Riccitiello during his discussion about the console war at this week’s GamesBeat Summit. The entire article is a great read if you’re looking for the big scope of his discussion, but two points really drive home the current state of the battle between Microsoft and Sony.
First, Microsoft. Riccitiello offers that Microsoft focused “a lot on entertainment beyond gaming.” We all remember that, right? The pre-E3 console unveiling that was little more than this nifty voice controlled TV box. Riccitiello goes on.
“Microsoft was trying to [compete against] Apple. They didn’t feel gaming was big enough to justify the pent-up desire … to have the recognition they wanted as an innovator…
…Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make, putting the 7-ball in the corner pocket, but they missed the first shot and didn’t get another shot after it.”
Sony, on the other hand, was aiming to capture the imaginations of gamers first. Here’s Riccitiello again, with expletives censored.
“Sony focused on the shot they needed to make, which was win the hearts and minds of the gamer. The broader scope of entertainment might be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution. A tight execution on the 50 million people that matter, which are the people currently lapping up consoles…
…Sony ****ing nailed it, and they deserve the victory.”
Was Microsoft too focused on creating an entertainment experience with the Xbox One? Both consoles will certainly have a long tail, but Sony absolutely sprinted out of the retail gates at the onset. Was that because it was a pure gaming machine while Microsoft was sending mixed messages? Or, was it purely about the cost of the systems and the specs each promised?