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Ex-Microsoft Executive Details Heated Relationship with Sony

Posted by Sammy Barker

Furrowed brows

Xbox only exists because of Microsoft and Sony’s heated relationship. That’s according to former executive Joachim Kempin, who was vice president of Windows Sales at the firm. Chatting with IGN, the outspoken suit explained that the computing company wanted to tackle PlayStation head-on due to the bad blood between the organisations.

“The main reason [Xbox exists] was to stop Sony,” he said. “You see, Sony and Microsoft, they never had a very friendly relationship, okay? And this wasn’t because Microsoft didn’t want that. Sony was always very arm’s length with Microsoft.

“Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft’s friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have co-operated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know?”

Ultimately, the success of the PlayStation brand prompted Microsoft to create its own console – an initiative that came directly from Bill Gates himself. “Microsoft just looked at [the PlayStation] and said, ‘Well, we have to beat them, so let’s do our own.’”

The company had considered purchasing SEGA at one point, but it didn’t feel that the Japanese publisher had the clout to overcome Sony’s dominant brand. “There was always talk maybe we buy SEGA or something like that," he continued. "That never materialised, but we were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE [for the Dreamcast], the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform. But for Bill [Gates] that wasn’t enough, he didn’t think that SEGA had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony, so we did our own Xbox thing.”

And thus the rivalry was born. The timing of these comments couldn’t be better, as the two companies are about to engage in arguably their biggest battle yet. Rumours suggest that both the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox will debut later this year, setting up one of the fiercest console clashes since the 16-bit days. Who’s excited?

[via uk.ign.com, uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (13)

Epic

#1

Epic said:

They created Xbox........ and Xbox 360........... just to teach a lesson.... to Sony. -_-
Ok this is kinda wierd just to enter the market to beat a competitor and kinda a client of Windows(Vaio PC's Windows).

Paranoimia

#2

Paranoimia said:

Just another example of their screwed-up thinking. Makes no sense to me, other than they wanted to partner up to do what they've always done... ride to success on the coat-tails of others.

Still... didn't beat them last gen, didn't beat them this gen. 3rd time lucky? Hope not.

NathanUC

#3

NathanUC said:

Honestly, I'm sure this isn't the whole story. It's far more likely the leading factor for Microsoft to build the Xbox was they were able to see a booming market. Simple as that.

Sanquine

#4

Sanquine said:

Oke , wait they enter the market to kick sony's ass because they do not like them? But sony buys software from microsoft for their pc's? I do not get the relationship? Maybe sony was a pain in the ass customer?

3Above

#5

3Above said:

Well thats reckless bussiness management if you ask me. It no doubt the type of thinkig thats got them in the bind they are in now in the tablet, mobile and PC space. But considering PlayStation exsists as a direct result of Nintendo back stabbing Sony this is understandable. Seems the high school drama lives on even in the " real world. "

thebluelight1

#6

thebluelight1 said:

Just because Vaio's use Windows doesn't mean that the companies like each other, business is business, it's beneficial for Sony to use a popular OS and for Microsoft to sell them it. Apple's iOS devices use processors made by Samsung and I don't think that they like each other that much,

BornOfEvil

#7

BornOfEvil said:

I would keep Microsoft at arms length too. They're nothing but a bunch of liars and backstabbers. This article also shows that they're childish, "Sony doesn't want to be our friend, so lets teach them a lesson".

Also, why would you try to beat someone you want to be friends with?

Sanquine

#8

Sanquine said:

Oke for me it sounds like Sony did not want to cooperate to help Microsoft with entertainment ( Because sony has like so much entertainment > James bond for example). Maybe microsoft want a joint venture and sony did not agree with that.

3Above

#9

3Above said:

Yeah that does sound really childish. " If you dont cooperate with us will be get back at you ." Yup, sounds like Gates.

charlesnarles

#11

charlesnarles said:

I always wondered why xbox exists when games are literally indistinguishable from each other platform-wise. They used to make a "star wars game" for every console, but they'd all be different engines etc from system to system, of course. Imagine the omniconsole we'd be playing if Xbox never came and PS stayed Nintendo

Zombie_Barioth

#12

Zombie_Barioth said:

@3Above Actually from my understanding of it Sony asked for too much on their end so Nintendo backed out, thats not backstabbing.

Sanquine wrote:

Maybe microsoft want a joint venture and sony did not agree with that.

Its just a rumor as far as I know but I've heard that they actually wanted to work together in the past and many of the guys at Sony were for it, but one of the former higher ups (forgot who) was against it. Again I don't know if theres any truth to it but thats rather interesting if true.

3Above

#13

3Above said:

@Zombie_Barioth " It all began at the Consumer Electronics Show way back in 1991, where Sony announced a SNES with a built-in CD-ROM drive created by Ken Kutaragi for Nintendo. But disaster struck and Nintendo stabbed Sony in the back, declaring a partnership with Philips." http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2013/01/31/daily-reaction-a-recap-of-every-playstation-console-and-handheld-announcement/

Admittedly i wasnt paying attention to CES back in 91' so im just taking this articles word for it.

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