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Business 2.0 On Xbox 360 And Peter Moore

Business 2.0 has an excellent article detailing Peter Moore’s history, going back to his work on the Dreamcast and leading up to this month’s Xbox 360 launch with him as top marketer.

… Microsoft’s strategy of moving first in this latest round of console combat is risky. No one knows that better than Moore, who helped launch an acclaimed game system for Sega six years ago — only to see it crushed a year later by the avalanche that was Kutaragi’s PlayStation 2, which now commands a 60 percent share of the $25 billion global market.

Moore’s marketing playbook became so legendary that in 1999 the Japanese game publisher Sega hired him to broaden the appeal of its Dreamcast console — a mere seven months before it was due to launch in the United States.

Moore wasn’t the only one smarting from the PS2’s success. In the late 1990s, Gates was in talks with Kutaragi to include the Windows operating system in the PS2. But Kutaragi had long seen Gates as the most lethal threat to his empire. Bernie Stolar, a former Sony executive, remembers Kutaragi asking him as early as 1994 where he thought the nascent PlayStation console’s main competition would come from. Nintendo, Stolar guessed. Maybe Intel. Kutaragi looked him squarely in the eyes. “No, Bernie, you are wrong,” he said. “It is Microsoft. And I will kill them.”

The most radical departure was Moore’s locker-room tone. It is not unusual inside the Redmond bubble to blindly subscribe to Microsoft cheerleading. But the former soccer coach knew when to challenge and when to rally the team. His favorite question for employees is this: Why wouldn’t I want to buy a PlayStation 3? “A lot of people hate when I say that,” Moore admits. But he wanted to treat the Xbox as a real consumer brand, not unlike a sneaker. “The big problem at Microsoft is that they always tell you why you need something,” he says. “For the Xbox 360, you need to feel like you want it.”

If he does win the battle against Kutaragi, Moore knows that his war will be about more than just videogames. The team that Microsoft has assembled for the 360 — a tightly interwoven marketing and product design group — could help the company solve problems in its other divisions, most notably digital music. Ballmer doesn’t rule out the idea of the Xbox team creating a design for a digital-music player and integrating it with better player software. There’s already talk that Moore could head up Microsoft’s broader entertainment strategy. First Ken Kutaragi, then Steve Jobs? “[Our team] has a lot of passion to extend beyond games,” Allard hints. “Listen, we’re not going to keep our design guys waiting around for five years with nothing to do.” Xpod, anyone?

(via Bink)

November 7th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Xbox, Xbox 360 | one comment
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  1. […] Game Daily is running a series of the five biggest video game stories of the year, starting with the success of microtransactions. Today’s entry, number four: “Xbox 360 is NOT Dreamcast!” I’ve mentioned before the similarities between the Xbox 360 and the Dreamcast, especially the fact that Peter Moore was a big part of both efforts, but it did indeed become clear this year that the Xbox 360 is not a failure, and will never be a failure. The 360 is here to stay, will be a major part of this period in video game history, and there is a good chance there will indeed be an Xbox 3 in the future. (via Digg) […]

    Pingback by » It’s Official: Xbox 360 Not Dreamcast »  InsideMicrosoft - part of the Blog News Channel | 1/7/2007

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