NEWS - Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mattrick’s departure will be Xbox One’s pivot point

The departure of Xbox boss Don Mattrick, headed off to become Zynga’s new CEO only weeks after the unveiling of Xbox One, is another bizarre chapter in what has been the strangest and most uncomfortable period of Microsoft’s existence as a console platform holder. In a few short weeks we have seen huge damage done to the laboriously elevated Xbox brand, the firm’s main gaming rival elevated to undeserved sainthood during an extraordinary E3 showdown and finally a rare, humiliating and completely necessary U-turn from one of the world’s biggest and most stubborn companies. Now, another unprecedented twist - the man behind a brand new console running out the door before that console even launches, even as its feature set has apparently been thrown into flux mere months before it hits retail shelves.

This is a mess. There’s no two ways about that. It may well be for the best in the end, but right now, it’s a mess. Microsoft is in a tailspin - one minute Xbox is soaring above the clouds, the next, thrown around by winds of negative public opinion from all quarters, it’s desperately hauling at all the controls and trying to correct its course, something that this corporate juggernaut simply isn’t used to doing. As a rule, Microsoft ploughs ahead with its product strategies until either the world bends to its will or the product crashes into a mountainside. Tugging and pushing at unfamiliar controls as it tries to turn Xbox One from its course, Microsoft appears to have found the pilot ejector seat switch and thought "hey, this one is worth a shot!".




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