Xbox co-founder says the last five years have been painful to watch

By on February 13, 2013, 6:00 PM

The man responsible for giving Microsoft’s original Xbox its name has penned a blog post outlining the poor job he says the company has done with the console over the past five years – and especially during the last 12 months. The former employee has a laundry list of activities where Microsoft is going wrong and believes that Apple could kill console gaming as we know it if they wanted to.

Nat Brown said Microsoft has been coasting on past momentum for several years and failing to innovate and capitalize on innovations like Kinect. He goes on to say that Microsoft has a total lack of tactical versus strategic understanding of the long game with regards to the living room.

Brown isn’t against the broad content / entertainment business with a living room connected device. In fact, he said that is exactly what the Xbox was designed for and why it was the Trojan horse for the living room. They wanted the Xbox to be welcomed by millions and replace non-console devices like set-top boxes and WebTV.

The problem, he says, is that Microsoft is forgetting the key purpose of the console: gaming. He says they are making it very difficult for indies to develop Xbox games and get them published. It should be just as easy to create a game for the Xbox as it is to build one for Android or iOS. Furthermore, Brown says the device OS and nearly the entire user experience outside the first two levels of the dashboard are creaky, slow and full of shit.

He concludes the rant by suggesting that Apple could put everyone under by introducing an open 30 percent cut app / game ecosystem for Apple TV. On the gaming side, that would likely require a beefed-up Apple TV but considering the company sold 5.3 million units in 2012, it says a lot about what Cupertino could do if (when) they wanted to.




User Comments: 30

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1 person liked this | veLa veLa said:

Microsoft is a lumbering giant. Slow, painful to watch, cumbersome.

1 person liked this | treetops treetops said:

Lol this guy is a ***** id bet more people own xbox 360's then any other modern console.

"It should be just as easy to create a game for the Xbox as it is to build one for Android or iOS."

Idk if it would be wise or people would want to buy little tinker toy indie games on a latest gen console capable of running 100 of those little games at once(most are small). I dont know of anyone with a beefed up pc that plays fruit ninja on it. If he is saying they are purposely making consoles so free indie games cant make there way onto the console he may have a argument. I know some indie games can be up there with big developers as far as hardware utilization, so if hes saying they are trying to stomp out anyone but microsoft from making a game for the xbox 360 that seems absurd. Pc, ps3 and wii port to xbox 360 all day. I think he is lying or microsoft is passing up easy money and that is very unlikely.

2 people like this | Xchingx21 said:

Microsoft is a lumbering giant. Slow, painful to watch, cumbersome.

Microsoft is like my wife "can't live with her... can't live without her"

2 people like this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I honestly don't know why Apple hasn't release their next revolutionary Apple TV that lets you use iPad/iPhone as a controller to play Angry Birds. It would be the greatest success of 2013.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Lol this guy is a ***** id bet more people own xbox 360's then any other modern console.

You mean, the guy that set the stage for the 360? yea.....

can you read? he didnt say that iOS games should be made for xbox, he said that it should be just as open for people to makexbox games as it is for iOS/android developers.

PS. There is a fruit ninja for xbox.

Guest said:

The key thing being that "if apple wanted to".

And suggesting to Apple that they become more open... that's ******* laughable.

On another note... none of the players that are battling over the living room have won me over. I own two android cell phones, a nexus 7, and several computers, an xbox360, and a wii. I am disappointed by the current "set top" boxes to the point where I just said **** it, and bought another gaming rig for the living room. Valve's "big screen" mode will suffice for my gaming habits, and a regular windows 7 PC will suffice for every other task I could come up with.

None of these companies are winning my heart until they make shit easier than a computer, and I don't even see that day on the horizon.

*These captcha's are the worst on all of the internet.*

RzmmDX said:

Wait, if the Xbox 360 is doing so well despite Microsoft sucking at it...

God damn it Sony.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

What percentage of Indie games are really any good? I mean 7.5+ out of 10 good. I'm being serious, I'm a PC gamer, but my focus has mainly been on AAA titles, and web based games like Quake Live.

I buy FPS's for the online multiplayer. I'm currently playing BF3, L4D2 (until I got sick of people on my team running off), and the Crysis 3 beta.

If anyone knows of any Indie games that come close to even L4D2, I would appreciate it.

MrBungle said:

What percentage of Indie games are really any good? I mean 7.5+ out of 10 good. I'm being serious, I'm a PC gamer, but my focus has mainly been on AAA titles, and web based games like Quake Live.

I buy FPS's for the online multiplayer. I'm currently playing BF3, L4D2 (until I got sick of people on my team running off), and the Crysis 3 beta.

If anyone knows of any Indie games that come close to even L4D2, I would appreciate it.

Most good indie games I've seen were all strategy or puzzle type games... I just costs too much money to make a AAA level shooter for anyone but the massive publishers to pull it off these days.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Agreed. I grew up with the original Xbox and now Microsoft is way too focused with multimedia. It seems as if Xbox is not being treated as a gaming console, labeling their Music service and video service with the Xbox name. It is nice to have these features, but the only way that Microsoft seems to be concerned with actual gaming now is with Kinect (which has been too much more of the focus than traditional gaming). Please Xbox, focus on the GAMING.

Guest said:

Microsoft in not an innovative company, so no surprise there. They only copy, buy, borrow ideas, undercut the competition and slowly take over the market. Once they have the market they do just good enough to hold on to it. Then another company has a great idea and things start off in a new direction, which Microsoft copies, buys or borrows, repeat...

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I never thought about Apple introducing a console. I really hope they don't read Techspot. If this happens, bye bye gaming.

On another note, I reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyy miss the old dashboard from 2006. The new ones are just so damn cluttered with junk. When I navigate my xbox, I just hit the middle button to bring up the guide...you know, where they hid the old/useful dashboard. It should've be a chore to find Netflix or the movies on my flash drive...

Guest said:

"..... the dashboard are creaky, slow and full of shit."

LMFAO...!!! M$oft and the X-Box sucks

1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

I agree with him with ignoring the kinect and not promoting gaming on a higher level. BUT wanting games to be like the iOS is just a foolish apple fanboy comment. He loses all respect from me with those comments. Leave the $0.99 games on a small, not-so-serious platform and let the xbox have it's more regulated, better quality games.

Guest said:

@ Treetops...

More people own PS3's than any other modern consoles.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

*These captcha's are the worst on all of the internet.*
The torture of posting as a guest. I gotta admit, I find it humorous. And still yet the captcha system, does not motivate for creating and using a login account.

ikesmasher said:

I agree with him with ignoring the kinect and not promoting gaming on a higher level. BUT wanting games to be like the iOS is just a foolish apple fanboy comment. He loses all respect from me with those comments. Leave the $0.99 games on a small, not-so-serious platform and let the xbox have it's more regulated, better quality games.

there are some really, really nice indie games selling for 1 dollar on xbox live.

Guest said:

I honestly don't know why Apple hasn't release their next revolutionary Apple TV that lets you use iPad/iPhone as a controller to play Angry Birds. It would be the greatest success of 2013.

Yeah that'd be mad. Looking down to the screen controller (which is showing exactly what's on the big screen) then looking at the big screen to see where it went.

I bet you own a Wii U don't you?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Yeah that'd be mad. Looking down to the screen controller (which is showing exactly what's on the big screen) then looking at the big screen to see where it went.

I bet you own a Wii U don't you?

No, I personally don't like Apple. But my comment still stands. Fanboys will lap up anything that's given to them, no?

m4a4 m4a4 said:

there are some really, really nice indie games selling for 1 dollar on xbox live.

Ah, I honestly forgot about those. What I should've said was useless $1 apps. I'm pretty sure that there aren't droves of those on the xbox...

1 person liked this | Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

More people own wii's than any other modern console lol xbox 360 is a turd of s**t, you turn it on and get adverts in your face...PS3 doesn't do that. You pay to play online, I don't for PC, or PS3. The 360 was a horrible machine, that held back gaming since it's birth. 360 single handly almost destroyed PC gaming. Crysis 1..amazing, 2 ughh what a leap backwards to have it run on the crapbox. It was a faulty piece of garbage hardware that cr*p*ed out on everyone. After all of that, no one should defend it period! Peoples must have extremely low standards or are blind.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

After all of that, no one should defend it period! Peoples must have extremely low standards or are blind.

Well no, people can forgive and give second chance, the original Xbox was reliable and brilliant, Xbox 360 they messed up, but the next one could be great!

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Ah, I honestly forgot about those. What I should've said was useless $1 apps. I'm pretty sure that there aren't droves of those on the xbox...

Gotta agree with you there. However IMO, small developers should be able to publish their games without Microsoft towering over them. That doesnt mean MS has to completely step back.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Gotta agree with you there. However IMO, small developers should be able to publish their games without Microsoft towering over them. That doesnt mean MS has to completely step back.

Yes and no. It's more about quality control here. MS feels that greater control would benefit the ecosystem better, and thus you have to get through hoops.

One example of quality control I've heard about is devs paying for submitting patches (quite a bit too). Basically, test your game properly and make sure it's of good quality before release so you don't waste your money. The only problem I have with that is it's a set $$ amount (from what I've heard), so it hurts the indies that can't afford it. IMO, it should be based on income or something like that...

ikesmasher said:

I think any one of the mainstream gaming consoles could be infinately more successful if they allowed the installation of apps and games outside the marketplace. Not piracy, but like how android works...

I suppose I understand quality control. Not really working, all this crap in the indie marketplace anyway. Seriously. SO bad.

avoidz avoidz said:

I never thought about Apple introducing a console. I really hope they don't read Techspot. If this happens, bye bye gaming.

Why? Not everyone is in love with Apple products.

Guest said:

...BUT wanting games to be like the iOS is just a foolish apple fanboy comment...

That isn't what he is saying. He wants it as easy to develop Xbox games as it is to develop iPhone or Android games - NOT to bring mobile games to the Xbox. This would be excellent and open the doors for smaller independent games companies to release innovative titles rather than the market being flooded with the same FPS clones from the few big boys that can afford the dev kits and licensing. It isn't just MS that should do this, but Sony too.

gingerbill said:

I think it's a bit silly for the author of the article to be so critical after all the console has been a huge success , I imagine it outdid all there expectations . I think the Xbox was a great console , admittedly its well past it's sell by date now but it has to be considered a great triumph.

I do completely agree that they should make it easier for indie companies to release games . Also make it easier and cheaper for companies to patch games.

Guest said:

How is what Microsoft doing any different to what Samsung does? find out what your competition is doing, copy it and try to do it better?

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