Tuesday 22nd January 2002
MICROSOFT CHIEF DENIES HOMESTATION'S EXISTENCE
J Allard, head of Xbox as a global platform, has categorically dispelled reports of a complete home entertainment solution from Microsoft today
Microsoft openly mocked talk of a multimedia home entertainment system today, following a round of talk from American analysts last week saying that the machine would ship in the States this autumn. Reports last Tuesday and Wednesday quoted a Prudential Securities analyst as claiming a machine based on Xbox's architecture, playing Xbox games, DVD movies, and including the ability to record TV in the same way as a TiVo and allows for email and Web surfing was currently in development at the firm. Rumour has long named the ethereal project HomeStation.
In an exclusive interview given in London today, J Allard, chief of Xbox globally, was reasonably direct when asked whether or not the machine was real. "What do you say in Britain? Bollocks?" he joked. "That's totally wrong. You saw CES, you saw what Bill [Gates] was showing. HomeStation was a codename at one point long ago. It's rubbish. It's an old codename."
Looking to coming years, Allard laughed his way around any future possibility of a complete home entertainment solution from Microsoft. Would there ever be a HomeStation equivalent? "Maybe. Sort of. Could. I guess," he said. "What we're focused on is delivering the best gaming experience possible, right. We still have plenty of untapped potential."
Allard, currently touring Europe as Xbox prepares to launch in the territory on March 14, confirmed that the highly anticipated console would ship with between 14 and 16 games, with online play available before the end of this year.
Make sure you come back tomorrow for the full interview with Allard and European Xbox director of publishing, Michel Cassius.