Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has again spoken out about the future of the Xbox 360 and its rivalry with the PlayStation 3 and Wii, in the first part of a new interview by Dean Takahashi
of The Mercury News.
Asked how the Xbox 360 in general was working out, Gates replied “It’s working perfectly.” Continuing, he added, “We wanted to be the guy with the small box that costs less. We wanted to have the most compelling or better than anyone else’s box. We wanted to have the most games. We wanted to play to our software strength, and tools and online. We wanted to get most respects, except for the online capability, we wanted to swap positions with Sony. We wanted to not be a year late, not be a big box, not be a more expensive box. How are we doing on that?”
Asked specifically whether he thought there would be PlayStation 3 games that looked better than Halo 3
on the Xbox 360 he answered flatly, “No”. Qualifying this statement he appeared to suggest that the PlayStation 3 could eventually produce superior graphics before pointing out that the better graphics of the Xbox did not help it in the previous generation, again suggesting that a year head start on the competition would prove a more important asset than graphical power.
When asked what he thought of Nintendo’s chances of leading the market Gates again stated, despite previous comments made in Japanese interviews, that Sony is the company’s most direct competitor.
“Nintendo is of course a competitor”, he admitted. “But look at the resolution you get with a controlled experience like that … If you want to play online, get an Xbox. We’re not standing still. Look at what you saw today [referring to his keynote speech at CES
] connecting up the world to the Windows PC. Do you expect Nintendo to rev up a team to create cross-device gaming and tool kits to develop those things?”
The majority of the interview was concerned with the Xbox 360’s new IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services, with Gates discussing an imminent deal with AT&T that may lead the console to being offered free in exchange for a long term IPTV service contract. He also largely dismissed the idea of releasing a larger hard drive for the Xbox 360, indicating that IPTV content could all be streamed without the need for permanently storing data.