Microsoft “completely discounted Nintendo” when releasing the Xbox 360 due to GameCube’s performance
The latest episode of IGN’s Podcast Unlocked features an interview with former Microsoft executive Peter Moore and Xbox boss Phil Spencer. At one point of the podcast, they reflected on the launch of the Xbox 360. Moore noted that Microsoft “completely discounted Nintendo” when bringing out the console due to the performance of the GameCube.
Here’s a roundup of everything that was mentioned:
“I also then remember the E3 when, God bless, Kaz Hirai and Jack Tretton announced $599, and we were all back stage like ‘Woohoo!’ We knew then we had an opportunity to get ahead, drive ahead, get our games out quickly and get that lead. And I always said that the first to 10 million wins.” – Moore
“It was one of the greatest times of my career. You had to build a team, because we were growing then. We had prematurely put the Xbox to sleep, we needed to get ready for this and we knew what we needed to do. We had a three-day meeting at the Sheraton in Bellevue where we wargamed the scenario, and I actually played Ken Kutaragi. And we brought in a consultancy, it was a lot of fun. And the one thing we’d forgotten about, I don’t know if you remember this Phil [Spencer], we completely discounted Nintendo. Because they came off the GameCube and it was a disaster.” – Moore
“…and they destroyed both of us!” – Spencer
“Yes, with the Wii. But we wargamed for three days, what are you going to do, what do the launch titles look like, what are the marketing budgets, what is the positioning? And it was a fascinating experience which I’ll never forget. And this is a decade ago. And I actually played Ken, and my job was to destroy the launch of the Xbox 360.” – Moore
Of course, you can’t really bank on anything these days! Although the GameCube was far from Nintendo’s most-successful console, we all know what happened with Wii.