Microsoft Should Never Have Built the Xbox

microsoft should never have built the xbox 360

I’m having an ongoing debate with a number of folks on whether Microsoft should have ever made the Xbox. I’m arguing against it, and the best argument so far for the Xbox can be found here where there are links to all of the posts so far. What started all of this hullabaloo was a snarky comment I made on Twitter after seeing a chart that showcased that the vast majority of Microsoft’s profit came from Windows and that the Xbox wasn’t contributing much at all to the bottom line. That comment was something to the effect of “Does anyone want to debate Microsoft’s Xbox now?” And evidently a bunch did. Now realize that this is in hindsight and we are doing this for fun, so neither side is using any language that would embarrass our mothers. Still, I feel it’s a debate worth having.

Arguments for the Xbox 360

PRJ, who posted the latest position, argues seven points in favor of why the venture makes sense. I’ll cover each briefly here, but it generally is best to bring up his site and see his original words.

His first point is that PC gaming isn’t going anyplace. MMOs own the space and there really hasn’t been an innovative game for the PC for some time. Even when a game does come out it is buggy and needs significant patching.

His second point, which dovetails to the first, is that the Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s only stable platform. It is too easy for everyone from manufacturers to users to screw up the PC and destroy the gaming experience.

The third point made is that by owning the hardware, Microsoft can assure quality for both the hardware and the game. This guarantees that the game experience is top-notch, and that the system also works for products like the Zune and Windows Extender.

The fourth point presented here is that Microsoft is driving the Xbox 360 into the home as the core product, not Windows or the PC. It is more likely to be in your media cabinet and it does more media functions.

His next and fifth point is that, with the Xbox platform, Microsoft has executed better customer support and satisfaction than it has with Windows. The company has had problems, but addressed them more quickly and effectively then with its Windows line of products.

As for the sixth point, he says that it’s a great platform for developers and much better than the painful PS3 platform or the limited Wii. Investment is minimal and the Xbox Marketplace is effective and successful at moving indie titles.

The seventh point presented is that profit isn’t important, with popularity and market share more crucial. The Xbox 360 sold nearly 5 million units in 2009 and eclipsed the PS3. With Project Natal, it stands poised to dominate gaming with the possible exception of the Wii, which is really a different kind of gaming system with less interesting games for heavy game players.

In short, Microsoft stands alone when it comes to providing amazing games like Halo 3 and seamless, solid experiences.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From "DirectX Box" to "720," it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.

Xbox-exclusive games could find a second home on Nintendo Switch

Microsoft is reportedly set to release some of its first-party games on Nintendo Switch, as well as the Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud services. Cross-play between Switch and Xbox One is already enabled.

Transform into a tetromino master with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks

Tetris 99 is the latest battle royale game to stir up quite a bit of commotion. The Nintendo Switch Online exclusive adds a few new unexplained quirks to the Tetris formula. We've got you covered with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks.

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.

Battle royale-style Tetris 99 is the first Nintendo Switch Online-exclusive game

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.

Walmart slices prices on PS4 DualShock 4 controllers just in time for Anthem

The standard black PS4 controller is what usually comes with the console itself, but if you want to add something a bit more customized your gaming experience, Walmart is offering a wide variety of colorful DualShock 4 controllers at…

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
1 of 2