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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?