Speaking in an interview with news agency Reuters, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates has commented that his firm will continue developing console hardware, even if the Xbox 360 doesn't lead the worldwide market in this iteration.
"We'll play again", commented Gates to Reuters, continuing: "We learned a lot in the first round. We've got a chance not just to have higher market share, but also to grow the size of this market substantially."
Microsoft clearly sees living-room console hardware as important to its continuing success, as shown by the Media Center PC cross-compatibility of the Xbox 360, and one of the reasons why Gates and his company continues to push this part of its business so hard.
But, separately of this synergy, Gates feels that the Xbox 360 stands alone and above Sony's rival PlayStation 3, which is due to launch in 2006, suggesting: "In terms of how we've balanced technology in the machine, we feel certain we've done a better job than Sony. You won't really know that until a year from now, when people are talking about how the games on our machines compare to the games on Sony's machines."
As for the Xbox 360's 'killer app', a title to rival Halo
's effect for the original Xbox, Gates previously mentioned Halo 3
in a Time magazine cover story in May 2005, but this time around, and presumably not wanting to take attention away from the console's launch line-up, he demurred, commenting: "I wouldn't have picked right last time if you had asked me that question. So I won't pick this time."