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Microsoft “Completely Discounted Nintendo” When Planning the Xbox 360’s Launch

Nintendo was down but not out.

Microsoft completely discounted Nintendo as the company prepared to launch the Xbox 360 console it has been revealed by former Microsoft Executive Peter Moore on IGN’s Podcast.

Microsoft was so focused on the competition with Sony that it overlooked how popular Nintendo’s Wii console could be. After the failure of the Nintendo GameCube, many gamers were under the assumption that Nintendo was done with consoles, an assumption that was apparently shared by Microsoft. Who could have predicted that Nintendo would go on to release the hugely popular Wii.


Moore said in the podcast:

“I also then remember the E3 when, God bless, Kaz Hirai and Jack Tretton announced $599, and we were all back stage like ‘Woohoo!’,” Moore shared in IGN’s Podcast Unlocked. “We knew then we had an opportunity to get ahead, drive ahead, get our games out quickly and get that lead. And I always said that the first to 10 million wins.”

He continued, “It was one of the greatest times of my career. You had to build a team, because we were growing then. We had prematurely put the Xbox to sleep, we needed to get ready for this and we knew what we needed to do.

“We had a three-day meeting at the Sheraton in Bellevue where we wargamed the scenario, and I actually played Ken Kutaragi. And we brought in a consultancy, it was a lot of fun. And the one thing we’d forgotten about, I don’t know if you remember this Phil [Spencer], we completely discounted Nintendo. Because they came off the GameCube and it was a disaster.”

Spencer added, “…and they destroyed both of us!”

Moore continued, saying: “Yes, with the Wii. But we wargamed for three days, what are you going to do, what do the launch titles look like, what are the marketing budgets, what is the positioning? And it was a fascinating experience which I’ll never forget. And this is a decade ago. And I actually played Ken, and my job was to destroy the launch of the Xbox 360.”

It just goes to show that anything is possible in the competitive world of the video game industry and it’s also a great show of Nintendo’s resilience. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Wii were all very successful in their own rights, but the Wii ultimatley shipped the most units. The latest figures reveal that worldwide the Xbox 360 sold 84.4 million units, the PlayStation 3 sold 84.6 million units, and the Wii sold 101.23 million units, making it the clear winner in terms of sales.

[Source: Nintendo Insider, IGN, Wikipdia]

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