Speaking in a new interview, Robbie Bach, president of Mircosoft’s entertainment & devices group, has discussed Microsoft’s potential portable video games plans and how the success of the PSP has influenced the Zune portable music player.
Although the interview with Dean Takahashi
focuses primarily on the Zune the question of games on the hardware was raised, with Bach purposefully describing the Zune as “a portable entertainment player”.
He went on to comment: “We didn’t demo games running on some big service because there isn’t some big service to announce. But the idea is that Zune does music, video, photos, and it has the hardware to do very compelling games on it. It is more compelling than an iPod because it actually has a D-pad.”
When asked how this positioning of the Zune compares to the PSP, Bach answered: “The PSP is a reasonably successful product at the profit-and-loss level. But as a product concept, there are cautionary tales to learn from it.”
“While it is good at producing audio, it’s not a good music player because it doesn’t have local storage (except for flash memory slots). You can’t keep your music there. It has a beautiful screen, but you can only get the video under the Universal Media Disc format. That format hasn’t been successful. On a game level, it has done well. But even there, it is mostly PlayStation 2 ports,” he added.
“There isn’t much original content. When you do these devices, they can’t be pretty good at a lot of things. They need to be great at what they do. Zune is a great music player,” concluded Bach.