NEWS - Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Project Natal a "Midlife Kicker" for Xbox 360
He may have decided not to be around to see them first-hand, but outgoing Xbox 360 president Robbie Bach is still excited about what Project Natal will do for the console over the next few years. Speaking to TechFlash (via GamesIndustry.biz), Bach said Natal should be able to inspire up to another four years of creativity on the nearly five-year-old console.
"Theres a tremendous opportunity from a business perspective to produce a new experience for people without shipping a new console," Bach said about the prospects for Natal. "I mean, thats sort of the Holy Grail in many ways of the console world, is how do you ship completely new game experiences without actually forcing everybody to start over again, and I think Natal certainly presents that opportunity."
The results could be three-to-four years of "some really cool innovation that can happen," Bach said. "I think youre going to feel that over 12, 24, 36 months, because I think well do some great experiences out of the gate, and people will say, wow, thats really cool, and then the creative teams will really hit their stride, then the technology team will really hit its stride, and how it integrates with Live will get enhanced," Bach continued.
"So, for me its a jumpstart catalyst," he concluded. "Its a midlife kicker for the 360, and its an opportunity to really drive that business in a dramatic way."
But as exciting as Bach thinks the next three or four years of Xbox 360 business will be, it still wasnt enough to keep him at Microsoft. Yesterday, Bach explained his decision to leave Microsoft was due to not wanting to make the three-year (or more) commitment to planning the Xbox 360 strategy after Natal hits stores. He also elaborated on his decision with TechFlash.
"Ive got personal things I want to do, weve got family things we want to accomplish, Ive got things Im doing with the Boys & Girls Club and some other organizations that are important to me," Bach said. "And its really tough to try to do all those and do the 100 percent work that I want to do here. With the business in a good shape with a good leadership team, now seemed like the logical time."