EA Sports head and former Microsoft corporate vice president Peter Moore says that Microsoft's decision to include a hard drive with the original Xbox eventually led to the system's early demise and replacement by the Xbox 360.
"The hard drive in every Xbox killed us; we we're still selling it at $199 and the hard drive was like $70," Moore told
UK newspaper The Guardian. "That's why we prematurely left the original Xbox, because the more we were selling – there was still great demand – it was killing us, and there was no way to bring the price down... To this day, people still believe we left the Xbox too early, but it was purely for financial purposes."
To cut its losses, Microsoft decided to refocus its efforts on transitioning in the Xbox 360 when the Xbox reached the 25 million units sold mark. Moore says that the Xbox 360 Core, an entry-level SKU lacking a hard drive and later replaced by the Xbox 360 Arcade, was released primarily so that the company could get the system's price under control.
The former Microsoft executive also described his efforts to broaden the Xbox 360's consumer base with projects like Viva Pinata
from developer Rare, which Microsoft acquired in 2002. Moore remarked, however, that the industry had past Rare by.
"It's a strong statement, but what they were good at, new consumers didn't care about anymore, and it was tough because they were trying very hard," says Moore. "But their skillsets were from a different time and a different place and were not applicable in today's market."