Xbox chief calls for more casual games

Microsoft's chief Xbox officer sees casual games and software advances as part of the future for game consoles.

Robbie Bach, Microsoft's chief Xbox officer, loves to talk about gaming, but not yet about the new Xbox game console that Microsoft is slated to unveil on May 12.

Bach spoke to an audience of Silicon Valley businesspeople at an event organized by the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday. He would not discuss any of the features of the new Xbox, not until after it is shown to consumers first on MTV next month, as opposed to the usual launch event for media and industry insiders.

"This is the first time the industry is saying: 'Hey we want consumers to see this first,'" Bach said. "We think that is an important milestone for Xbox. It is recognition of this as a broad consumer market."

Part of what changed the game console market from a toy business to a consumer electronics business is the growing group of gamers, Bach said. Gamers used to be, on average, 12 years old. "The average age of the gamer now is 28," Bach said.

Bach did offer a glimpse of what's coming beyond the next Xbox. He sees a future with more games that don't take a long time to master. "If you want to be good at some of the games ... you have to practice, you have to work at it. What we need is more experiences that are casual fun," Bach said.

Also, software, instead of hardware, will drive advancements in console gaming, Bach said when asked about plans for a third-generation Xbox console.

"Sure there will be a next generation at some point, but you will also see innovation happen along the way more and more frequently because [of] software ... without requiring shifts on the hardware side," he said. An example is Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service, Bach said.

The Microsoft senior vice president and Xbox chief gave a rundown of success stories: Xbox sales beat Sony Corp. PlayStation 2 sales in the U.S. in a recent quarter, Microsoft sold US$125 million worth of Halo 2 games in the U.S. in one day and Xbox Live users have played Halo 2 for over 200 million hours.

"When we talk about some of the numbers, it makes you worry about productivity in America," Bach quipped. In his household he restricts gaming. "My kids don't get to play during the week. That is just the rule of the house," he said.

Microsoft's new Xbox is one of three new consoles expected on the market in the next year. Sony Computer Entertainment is planning to show its next generation PlayStation console next month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which starts May 17 in Los Angeles. Nintendo is also developing a new console.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?