Ballmer: “Xbox isn’t a gaming console”

Monday, 17th January 2011 11:53 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Microsoft mega-boss Steve Ballmer has told USA Today that he believes Xbox 360 isn’t a videogaming machine.

“Xbox isn’t a gaming console,” he said. “Xbox is a family entertainment center. It’s a place to socialize. It’s a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It’s the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.”

Ballmer also claimed that 360 and Kinect are the must-have products currently available.

“If you want to know where is the consumer heat, the things that people want to get their hands on, it’s Xbox and Xbox Kinect,” he said.

“I think about my own family. My wife used to say, ‘No, no, that’s the machine the boys use,’ and now she says, ‘Yeah, I want to go watch movies. Let’s go play the dance game.’

“It opens up accessibility to family entertainment because with the Kinect, you control these systems with your body, with your voice. We’ve opened up the world of content in TV, movies. You just sit there and say ‘Xbox’ or ‘play movie.’”

Ballmer went on to say that he sees Kinect as a major draw for the female audience.

“You go to your average 15-year-old boy, and he will say, ‘I’ll take an Xbox.’ I want that average 15-year-old girl as excited about the Kinect, and we haven’t done as good a job drawing in that broader set of demographics,” he said.

Microsoft announced at CES earlier this month that it had shipped more than 8 million Kinect units in the motion sensor’s first 60 days at retail.



  1. Tallon 4

    wtf? No gaming machine. I own 32 xbox360 games.

    Ballmer is actually saying:
    ’360…it only does everything’

    Mmmm…sounds kinda familiar

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Cort

    “[It] isn’t a gaming console, [it's] a family entertainment center.”

    Precisely what MS criticised the PS3 as being three years ago. Would be interesting to get a quote from Greenberg now, given he was the loudest voice in that criticism.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Suikoden Fan

    @Cort theres no way Greenberg will back down from his statement and admit sony were right to take that path and that microsoft now do too.

    Theres more chance of it snowing in July……….. in central Africa.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Razor

    Aww come on now, Greenberg was just joshing.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Razor

    Hey BTW Pat, what happened to the Best Poster Award?

    Or did I miss it?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – I’m going to be announcing it this week.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. NiceFellow

    Funny how the Xbox has worked itself around to the message the PS3 launched with – entertainment center and more than just a gaming machine.

    Fair play to MS, but Sony must be fuming about how poorly they played the marketing in US given they arguably delivered much the same message first but just didn’t back it up enough nor catch the timing right.

    #7 4 years ago

    @2: What a stupid comment.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    cat copy is a bad thing mr. armpit-sweat-spot

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Blerk

    Ah, Microsoft hot air statements. It must be Monday. :-D

    #10 4 years ago
  11. frostquake

    Don’t know about you, but my Xbox 360 is a gaming machine with a few Apps, and pretty SUCKY apps at that. My Blu-Ray Player has much better Apps on it, and I am now looking at getting another Blu-Ray player with more Apps, internet, and a Wireless Keyboard. Hell, my Blu-Ray Player is more an “Entertainment Center” than my 360 is.

    Hey BALLMER,, the one with the DUNCE cap on!! Give me internet, a Wireless Keyboard, and a TON more Aps, and then I will let you call my 360 an Entertainment Center..HA HA HA….

    #11 4 years ago
  12. M2Kx

    Unfortunately he’s right in some points :(

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Goffee

    For Americans he might have some points, over here and in the rest of the world, not so much! MS can’t even get iPlayer!

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Ge0force

    “Ballmer also claimed that 360 and Kinect are the must-have products currently available.”

    Looking at the list of 2011 exclusives, PS3 seems more like the must-have product for a true gamer.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Deacon


    I completely and utterly agree.


    Everything Ballmer says just f*cks me off.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    Actually Ballmer is right. Xbox 360 is not a gaming machine… It’s a 2006 PIECE OF SHIT.

    I’m being honest, seriously.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. StolenGlory



    2005 PIECE OF SHIT.


    #17 4 years ago
  18. Len

    Did I miss something…what’s Hulu…?

    #18 4 years ago
  19. bagelbaker

    @16 dude stop beeing a douche and go read something else if ur a FANBOY of something else go and play it because this is a gaming website and its all about gaming and if u want it or not otm more people own a xbox than a ps3 and so its a big gaming scene so it has to be featured on a website like this so go away and play some Hello Kitty’s worldadventure

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    @19, everything in the internet these days is trolling or fanboyism.

    I was just being honest and yes, i play with different systems.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. IL DUCE

    @18 Hulu is a website that you can watch TV shows on

    @19 Totally agree, they need to go back to the easiest hacked console ever made and shove it…

    But yeah I’m a huge X Box fan but at the end of the day it’s still a video gaming system, it just comes with a bunch more features now and doesn’t have to be used for just playing games.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Crysis

    @19, He’s the pc fanboy, if it doesn’t look pretty, it’s a bad game, according to him at least. He’s more worried about how many particles you can see on the terrain when you zoom in rather than the actual artistic style, if it’s not a pc exclusive game you can guarantee he will be condescending about the ps360 version(s).

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Crysis

    As an entertainment system, the PS3 is by far the best console, i can upgrade my hdd with any 2.5″ SATA hdd, & store 1000′s of videos, music & pictures on it with incredible ease, all possible without hacking.
    But the pc is still much better for all intents & purposes, but the PS3 is probably more accessible, just turn on the console, press left twice on the XMB & you’re already at your videos, too bad you can’t create custom sub-folders…

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Maxey

    I only wish the PS3 was updated to be able to play videos in mkv format.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Deacon

    @24 – right on brother. I love my anime but am struggling to get to grips with these MKV to AVI converters.

    @23 – I love the XMB – but yes, why oh WHY can’t we be trusted to create our own custom folders!?

    It gets quite tedious sometimes having to scroll for miles to find that one track or movie that you want.

    I pray for these in a future FW update.

    My bro tells me they’re ONLY JUST allowing 360 users to copy audio to their console from a USB drive.


    #25 4 years ago
  26. spiderLAW

    @24 and 25
    PS3 can play MKV files. Just convert the audio track from DTS 5.1 to AC3 5.1 and your golden.
    There is also a program called MKV FOB that will change any MKV file to PS3 formatted MPG without loss in quality. Either way, PS3 plays everything.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Aimless

    @25 You can create folders but unfortunately they can only go one layer deep; as Crysis said, no sub-folders.

    Press Triangle on a piece of media, go to Information and then change its Album name. Now press Square whilst back on the XMB until your media is being sorted by Album.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Deacon

    @26 – I tried MKV FOB with a few Death Note eps (I even followed a pretty solid looking guide) but the subs came out missing. I’ll try again soon – I’m sure I must’ve screwed up somewhere along the line.
    Like Maxey said it would be easier to update the PS3 player, no? It would save people a lot of time converting formats.

    @27 – This can turn into quite a laborious task if you don’t have a PC nearby or a keyboard for your PS3. And even then it’s not a REAL solution for those who want to store lots of media, and have it in a nice tidy file system.

    I swear I don’t normally moan this much…

    #28 4 years ago
  29. DuckOfDestiny

    Too bad it sucks at everything else.

    I refuse to watch DVDs on my xbox and as a music player it sucks big time.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. lexph3re

    Well I can say 360 owners will be pleased with hulu(american owners only?) I resently got my hulu+ on with my ps3 and so far its great. I’ve been catching up on my anime and some old shows I fell off from. Its only 7.99 usd/mnth, but if you sign up through your ps3 you can get it for free for a week.

    They have the deathnote series on their too so you can watch it as much as you want.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Deacon

    Hulu is definitely US-only right?

    Crunchyroll works sometimes but recently causes my browser to lock-up and I have to reboot my PS3.

    I’d sign up with Hulu without a doubt if it were available here in the UK.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Bond James Bond

    That explains why MS have all but stopped making games for it then. lol

    #32 4 years ago
  33. KingCancer

    @32 yes.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. spiderLAW

    @32 LOL

    #34 4 years ago
  35. NeoSquall

    @32 WIN.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. theevilaires

    @ Deacon and anyone else interested I may have a solution that will help:

    I have tons load of content on my PS3. When I have serveral episodes of a tv show I name each show starting off with the number season it is. For example lets say you have all the seasons of knight rider. What I do is name the folder Knight Rider, All episodes of seasons I label like this:

    Season 1 Episode 1 Knight of the Phoenix Part 1
    Season 1 Episode 2 Knight of the Phoenix Part 2
    Season 1 Episode 3 Deadly Maneuvers

    The root file is Knight Rider while the contents in that file are neatly organized for easy access to whatever episode is your fav. This is a very great and easy way to keep video content organized. I recommend you put the proper names of each file while using your PC then copying them over on external USB drive then onto PS3. Once copied to PS3 it will automatically rename the folder which has the content to the time of date. Simply press triangle and change with information and there you go. Your Knight rider folder with all 4 seasons/90 episodes total arranged neatly and in order ready for sequential play back.

    Shows like death note/Tri Gun that don’t have multiple seasons and only about 25-30 episodes only need to be labeled as:

    (Death Note: folder)

    Episode 1 Rebirth
    Episode 2 Confrintation
    and so on….

    Doing these type on PS3 isn’t that much of a pain due to the memory text input. But things like Dragonball Z you need a PC to do.

    Unfortunately we can’t make sub folders…yet but this is my set up so that I have easy access.

    Movies: standard def movies of every genre go in this folder and is sort alphabetically of course.

    Movies HD: All my 4GB 1080p M2TS files are sorted in here.

    Game Trailers: Every game trailer ever released on PSN at its highest res available from all major regions of PSN stores go in here. 970 vids/189 GB and growing stronger by the week ;) All properly renamed with title editing and sorted alphabetically…..theres a shit load of Gran Turismo trailers :D

    The rest of my videos like tv shows all have their separate folder because it would be insane to cram anime/reality/and sitcom shows all in one folder.

    Death Note folder
    Tri Gun folder
    Jeffersons folder
    Good Times folder
    Whos the Boss folder
    Growing pains folder
    Fresh Prince of Bel Air folder
    etc etc etc.

    It can look like its cluttered but with everything sorted so neatly alphabetically you’ll be alright. Just remember to Use a PC for faster file name. I had to rename four seasons of Samaria Jack on the PS3 and it sucked balls.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Kuwabara

    All along ive been saying the xbox 360 is a social media device with a lower emphasis on GAMES!. The xbox 360 is slowly turning into a wii. The ps3 is the only true hardcore gaming console.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. LOLshock94

    your mothers hardcore

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Crysis

    @37 & 38, you’re both babies…

    #39 4 years ago
  40. sonny

    @23, 27: I have a folder “VIDEO” on my external HDD, in it I have a folder “SERIES” and in there I have folders like “The Simpsons – S01″, “Boardwalk Empire – S01″ etc. for the seasons and my PS3 reads everything perfectly. So you can have 1 folder and 1 subfolder in the VIDEO folder at least or am I missing something?
    But you’re right, one or two more layers would make things a bit easier :)

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Ge0force

    @24 Ps3 Media Server streams mkv to your ps3 without need for conversion. Google for it.

    @32 Rofl :D

    #41 4 years ago
  42. RacistLemon

    Well… Microsoft.. Go die.

    #42 1 year ago

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