NEWS - Monday, December 3, 2001

Xbox’s broader role

Originally conceived as an all-in one machine, the Xbox is now about gaming only. But will it remain that way? Microsoft comments.

At a recent investment conference in Phoenix, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, further discussed the company’s intentions to introduce new functions, in addition to gaming, for its Xbox console. Ballmer revealed that Microsoft had originally intended to develop the Xbox as a "set-top box" device that would handle games, interactive TV, Internet, and other PC functions. However, after speaking with game publishers, that original idea was shot down, Reuters reports. "We went and said, hey, we have some ideas for an all-purpose box, kind of a PC, kind of a video game machine, kind of a set-top box," Ballmer said. "You know what they said? They said ’Get outta Dodge, we’re not going to write software for that thing.’ We came back a year later and we said OK, we’re going to start by doing the world’s greatest video game machine, and they said OK, let’s talk,’’

It is no secret that both the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony PlayStation 2 are designed to serve as home entertainment hubs, in addition to their functions as game machines. The Xbox is still packaged with a hard drive and Ethernet connection, and Microsoft is still interested in introducing additional functionality for the platform.


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