Microsoft: Xbox isn’t a gaming console

Do you remember Sony’s schizophrenic marketing a few years ago, where it couldn’t decide if the PS3 was a games system, an entertainment hub or a super computer? Fast forward to 2011, and here’s Microsoft retroactively deciding that the Xbox 360 is a Family Fun Unit and no longer a gaming system. Seriously?

“Xbox isn’t a gaming console,” says monstrous CEO Steve Ballmer. “Xbox is a family entertainment center. It’s a place to socialize. It’s a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It’s the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.

“I think about my own family. My wife used to say, ‘No, no, that’s the machine the boys use,’ and now she says, ‘Yeah, I want to go watch movies. Let’s go play the dance game. It opens up accessibility to family entertainment because with the Kinect, you control these systems with your body, with your voice. We’ve opened up the world of content in TV, movies. You just sit there and say ‘Xbox’ or ‘play movie.’

“You go to your average 15-year-old boy, and he will say, ‘I’ll take an Xbox.’ I want that average 15-year-old girl as excited about the Kinect, and we haven’t done as good a job drawing in that broader set of demographics.”

While I could now go with the line, “Steve Ballmer wants to excite 15-year-old girls,” I think I’ll go instead with, “STFU Microsoft, and let’s not go down this pretentious little road.”

James Stephanie Sterling