Microsoft went into the console business to specifically fight Sony
As much as I love Nintendo, these days, console gaming is a war fought between two primary forces. On one side, you’ve got the Axis of Sony with their Playstation forces. On the opposite side, you’ve got Microsoft marshalling their Xbox armies to do battle. Love or hate either one of the two, there’s no denying that they live up the name of the Big Two. So why so much bad blood between the two. Who pulled the trigger that allowed Microsoft to start work on a console? Was it money? Hells to the no! It was bad blood!
Speaking to IGN via VG247, former Microsoft exec Joachim Kempin detailed how CEO Steve Ballmer wanted to directly challenge Sony in that market, just for the sake of stopping their momentum. A decision that Bill Gates had the final say in. “Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft’s friend.
And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have co-operated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know? I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said ‘well, we have to beat them, so let’s do our own.’
And so was born a console that was a giant X. Then when the hardware designers got off their acid trip, they went and created a far more practical black beauty. These days, we can’t go a whole day without being accused of some sort of console bias, even though everyone is well are that we are all still firm believers in the Atari 2600, and it’s sexy wood panels.
Atari Defense Force, assemble!