Former Microsoft VP Peter Moore shed some light on the premature departure of the original Xbox. He recently told The Guardian that the sudden move between the Xbox and Xbox 360 wasn’t really all about getting the fabled head start in the console wars. It was really a financial decision, brought on by the cost of the hard drive in the original unit.
Not having a hard drive in every Xbox 360 was a hard decision, but we wanted to get price under control. The hard drive in every Xbox killed us; we we’re still selling it at $199 and the hard drive was like $70. 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.
Moore then went on to remark that Microsoft felt that they needed to “slow [the sales of the Xbox] down and just not sell anymore.” Of course, after stemming the flow of the consoles it was decided that they had to bring on the 360 as “quickly” as possible. At least this process required a lot less firing and more reasonably pleasant days.
Personally, the entire reason why I decided to let go of my beloved PlayStation 2 was the fact that the Xbox had a hard drive and was reportedly going to have a blockbuster service via the Internet called Xbox Live. It turns out that I made a decent choice in the scheme of things, but couldn’t Microsoft find a cheaper hard drive? Now, they just pawn that cost off on us with the Xbox 360 and kill the ability for developers to harness a HDD in the process. Thanks, Microsoft!