Microsoft wants to release first in the next console generation, too

There’s no denying that Microsoft has enjoyed several benefits from releasing the Xbox 360 as the first console of this generation. Not only did it give gamers eager to experience “next-gen” titles the first opportunity to do so – resulting in a comfy year’s lead in sales – but it also established Xbox Live and Marketplace as the console standard of online play and digital content purchasing. It should therefore come as no surprise that they’re planning to recapture that same lead in the next console generation.

“The last cycle for the original Xbox was a little shorter than typical (at four years). We started way late,” Microsoft’s Robbie Bach told Venture Beat. “If you take the question of whether it was the right thing to try to be first [with Xbox 360], the answer to that is definitely yes. It has given us a leg up in a number of places that are super important.”

“It has given us a leg up with game developers. It has given us a leg up from an economics perspective. It helped us expand Xbox Live quickly. At a strategy level, if you asked if we wanted to be first again, I would say yes.”

Bach then goes on to nimbly dodge the question about when we might see Microsoft’s next console, stating that “Our view is we will be selling Xbox 360 for a long time.”

Microsoft’s strategy certainly makes sense; I just hope they aren’t in such a rush to release first that they make the same mistake that they did with the 360: faulty hardware. They’ve probably long since gotten the hint that gamers don’t like sending their consoles in for maintenance every few months, what with all the angry calls directed towards 1-800-4MY-XBOX concerning this very issue. Still, are you going to be a bit more wary about buying the Soft’s next console due to their technical snafus with the 360?

[Via CVG

Justin Villasenor