Xbox 360: Microsoft Founder Comments On Last Five Years

Microsoft Xbox 360 founder says last five years were painful to watch

A Microsoft founder has commented on the last five years of the Xbox 360.

Nat Brown, a Microsoft engineer, helped start the Xbox project and says he named the console, and he has reprimanded the company’s current direction. Brown said the last five years of Xbox 360 have been “painful to watch.”

According to IGN, Nat Brown’s blog criticized Microsoft for focusing on the all-purpose entertainment aspect as opposed to the video games:

“The past five years, and the last year in particular, have been simply painful to watch. Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect. Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo–you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures). A complete lack of tactical versus strategic understanding of the long game of the living room. It culminated for me in recent coverage of interviews with Yusef Mehdi and Nancy Tellem and reports of the goals of a new LA Xbox studio to create interactive content.”

According to Gamespot, Brown says a “Trojan horse” push for the living room was the Xbox’s original goal, but Microsoft is straying from the console’s video game roots:

“My gripe, my head-smack, is not that the broader content/entertainment business isn’t where you want to go with a living-room-connected device. It absolutely is. Indeed, this was the point of Xbox, that was why it was the Trojan horse for the living room, where we could land and be welcomed by millions of console customers with more hardware and better software and network connectivity than the non-console devices (webtv, cable set-tob-boxes) we had been pursuing. … No, more and better content was always the point and the plan. My gripe is that, as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.”

Don’t get Brown wrong, though: He is thrilled to see the level of success the company has had with the Xbox and Xbox 360, but feels the company is forgetting what a game console is supposed to be.

How do you feel about the last five years of the Xbox 360? Do you agree with Microsoft’s founder?