Former Xbox executive explains why he encouraged the console wars

Camille Chabroux

– Published on July 31, 2022 at 13:16.

Was the console war planned from the start? The former Xbox executive explains why it provided healthy and rewarding competition.

If Nintendo has never really been in this console war by offering something family-friendly and unique, the strong competition between Xbox and PlayStation has always been there. Exclusives, prices, subscriptions… The two consoles from Microsoft and Sony have been competing for years, and it seems like it was done on purpose.

Xbox VS PlayStation: useful console war?

Former Xbox chief executive Peter Moore, who helped control the company during the Xbox 360 era, recently talked about how he “encouraged console wars” on his team to create healthy competition. The main rival of the Xbox at the time was Sony and its PlayStation 3 console.

“We encouraged console wars not to divide, but to challenge each other, and when I say to each other, I mean Microsoft and Sony. If Microsoft didn’t stay on course after the Xbox, after the infamous Red Ring of Death, you wouldn’t have today’s competition. Moore spoke about this on the Front Office Sports podcast.

Red Rings of Death was an infamous error message that appeared due to component ball bearings cracking due to repeated heating and cooling as the system was turned on and off. As shown in a recent Xbox documentary, this hardware flaw cost Microsoft dearly, and they had to find it and fix it. “When we factored in repair costs and lost sales, we were faced with a $1.15 billion problem,” Moore said in the Xbox History chapter, which outlines the path of the Xbox 360.

It’s hard to say today if this console war is as healthy and rewarding as ever, but cross-platform multiplayer features seem to have blurred the digital boundaries for a very large number of games. After all, even if there will always be very big exclusives ahead (God of War, Starfield, etc.), most franchises choose multiplatform to reach a wider audience. On the other hand, this “war” is still felt in many acquisitions, such as Sony’s recent takeover of Bungie.

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