Xbox One reveal: “They totally screwed it up” – Bushnell

Wednesday, 3rd July 2013 10:18 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s reveal and subsequent policy u-turn saw Microsoft screw up. That’s the opinion of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell who, in an interview with VG247 stressed that despite its recent u-turn Microsoft no longer wants to sell you products; it wants you to rent them instead.

As part of an interview you can read here on VG247 soon, I asked the Atari founder for his thoughts on Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal and subsequent policy reversal, to which he replied, “They totally screwed it up. When I heard some of the announcements and the analysis of it, I’m shaking my head and saying, ‘What in the hell were they thinking?’ Of course that wasn’t going to go down well.”

He added that Microsoft’s interest in the cloud and the rationale behind its initial DRM policies was so it can block piracy, resulting in a content stream that rents digital copies of software, rather than letting you own a product outright.

“They want to sell Office as a service,” Bushnell added. “They want it all to be in the cloud, they want to rent you stuff, not sell you. And when you look at some of the things about systems and procedures, they really don’t like software as an object because it’s too easy to get it ripped off.”

He cited China’s rampant piracy rate as a potential catalyst for Microsoft’s initial policy, and continued, “In the back of their mind they look at a billion Chinese people, and they sell less software there than a small town in Texas.”

I then asked him about the whole trade-in issue, suggesting that although Microsoft may have reversed its own policies, that this doesn’t mean publishers still don’t want used-sales to disappear. I offered that we could face a similar discussion and backlash over used-blockers in years to come.

“I actually think that trade-ins are good and they bring in more money,” he replied, “now here’s the following thread: I believe that in a lot of ways, a $50 game is discontinuity. There are more people who can’t afford a $50 game than can. And so what has always been an ability to do is, if you can’t afford to get a new pair of jeans you go to thrift shop and buy a used pair of jeans, and the same thing goes with games.”

“Some people are willing to be the person who is the first on their block to a game and pay full price. if you’re willing to wait a month or two you can get it for half price. What happens in that case is that the person who bought the first instance has a little bit of money so he can continue to buy new games at a higher rate than he would have otherwise.

“I think the industry gets more money if you look at the whole picture because I think that people will spent what they can afford, and if you make the hurdle too high for people who are not as well off, they just won’t be able to buy the game at all.”

What’s your take on the above? Would a lower starting price-point for new games combat second-hand sales? Did Microsoft drop the ball with its initial strategy? Let us know below, and stay tuned for the full interview with Bushnell soon.



  1. Erthazus

    “He added that Microsoft’s interest in the cloud and the rationale behind its initial DRM policies was so it can block piracy, resulting in a content stream that rents digital copies of software, rather than letting you own a product outright.”

    I said it since the online option was in discussion that they are doing it ONLY for piracy protection.

    and If some idiot will say again that I’m wrong somewhere he can pretty much shut his pie hole for the rest of his life. Really.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. ps3fanboy

    i said all this before mister nolan said it. over at micro$hafts its clearly more about the money than anything else. if they can rob their own customers and get away with it, they do it without even blinking… you gotta give some not just take, that is a given in any business. but the greed at micro$hafts is at mammoth proportions. micro$hafts is like a bad joke business-wise!

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Lengendaryboss

    Last sentence = LOL :D

    He makes more sense than coming across as a biased Playstation loving fanboy :)

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Lengendaryboss

    He makes valid points: I especially liked the comparison between used jeans and used games, to prove that it really is the cheaper option.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. ps3fanboy

    @3 Legendarychump, you the peecee master race should keep shut… your own idiocy dont help you a bit. :)

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Gekidami

    B-but, Mr. Bushnell…

    You should actually link that in there just to show his post position.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. actuallyisnotafox

    i guess that don mattrick was theyre mark cerney? so yup id say so too :p

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Lengendaryboss

    What exactly is the “peace master race”? My idiocy? Look at your sentences grammar and punctuation and see who is the idiot. :)

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Eregol

    @7 Wha?

    #9 1 year ago
  10. actuallyisnotafox

    @9 i guess don mattrick was microsofts mark cerney so i guess him leaving was them saying yup we’re even getting rid of our mine guy so we screwed up :p *i should elaborate more ._.*

    #10 1 year ago
  11. manamana

    @6 good one. And he is just beating a dead dog. We all know by now, that Microsoft screwed up big time.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    Mattrick was Microsoft’s GIR to Sony’s SIR (when speaking in public).

    #12 1 year ago
  13. rafterman83

    Suppose the man who over saw Atari going from a 2 billion company to nothing knows a bit of about failure. Still this Microsoft bashing must end. Getting so old now. Both companies want your money trying suggest one is evil and the other isn’t is just naivety.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. tCruzin

    Definitely getting ridiculous now. How many articles are going to be posted about the same topic over & over? No wonder this site has received a huge buzz lately.
    But I’m sure there is plenty of more interesting stuff to write about in the gaming world than this.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Gheritt White

    @1 You’re wrong, somehow.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Dahak

    This nolan guy is flip flopping all over the place,first xbox will win now they screw up,make up your mind.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Digital Bamboo

    Man, Bushnell + Kojima interviews. VG247 is a pretty big deal.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Dave Cook

    @14 what are you talking about? It’s a big, pressing issue that won’t be going away for ages?

    Plus, it came from an interview I did with Nolan about many topics, not just Xbox One.

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it, but please don’t accuse us of flogging the issue. It’s all around you.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. rafterman83

    @18 pressing issue? – both companies now have the exact same DRM policy, console architecture, almost the same games, the same everything – where’s this pressing issue you talk of?

    It would seem the gaming community is being torn apart over what? certain game journalist’s pre-disposition towards Sony or Microsoft. *not you Dave but in general*

    How are we, the gamers, able to make an informed decision when all we get is hit baiting rubbish from people who clearly have axes to grind.

    The media coverage of next-gen has almost ruined the whole concept of a new console before they’re even out for me.

    I, for one, would be happy with either console, as would 99% of the people here.

    This Us vs Them is getting really boring.

    THEY ARE THE SAME – even more so than X360/PS3 – yet that doesn’t produce an exciting narrative does it.

    You’re trying to find an angle that doesn’t really exist. I understand with less than 6 months to go to launch no other content will compete but how long do we have to suffer my console is better than yours tripe.

    Rant over.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough


    Call him a twat, too. Call them all twats. Damn readers. Wish they’d all just shit off.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. super3001

    poor poor sonygamer247 boohoo we dont like being criticise but attract most critical group onIinternet due to heavy bias and flamebait article

    YOU vg247 all of you writers created the flame war dont be damn childs and cry now if you cant stand heat

    #21 1 year ago
  22. FeaturePreacher

    If publishers want to combat used games, just have a digital only pre-release window along with exclusive single player dlc and perhaps a 16% discount.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. karma

    #14: This is quite literally THE most important gaming industry news of the last 7-8 years. What is happening now is determining how healthy the following 8 years will be.
    And Bushnell is correct, its nice to hear sense coming from industry professionals and not just gamers.

    Also i’ll add to the positives of used games in that they encourage gamers to take risks with untried IP’s, that they don’t know if they will like or not. In the past i’ve tried a few used games I wasn’t sure about, for instance, Batman Arkham Asylum. I had heard good things about it from other gamers, but since I’m not a fan of fighting games I didn’t want to fork out the full £50 and find out that I didn’t like it. But buying used was a much lesser risk, and what I found out was that it is an amazing game, so I was in-line day 1 for the sequel and purchased it brand new.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Clupula

    @21 – Why isn’t this “person” banned by now?

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @24 Because he didn’t make a homophobic / sexist remark or insult a minority group a staff member happens to be a part of.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Dave Cook

    @19 “How are we, the gamers, able to make an informed decision when all we get is hit baiting rubbish from people who clearly have axes to grind.”

    I’d disagree that he has an axe to grind, but I thought some people might like to hear the opinion of a man who has proved instrumental of games as a commercial business.

    Although he’s not done much for years the man’s still a legend. This isn’t aimed at you personally, but It’s my bad if I thought folk would be interested in what he had to say, but you’ll see soon that the full interview is more about industry life back in the ’80s compared to today.

    @21 How did we create the flame war? Also, who’s crying? What are you actually talking about?

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Gheritt White

    @19: The Xbox One still comes with mandatory Kinect, a $100 more expensive price tag than PS4 while carrying inferior hardware components inside the box, plus big question marks around indie developer support.

    (Oh yeah, and an apparent focus on live TV services, none of which will be available outside the USA for launch.)

    So I’d say that there are still *big* differences between the two next-gen console platforms right now.

    And yes, this is coming from somebody how has been playing exclusively on an Xbox and Xbox 360 for the past decade.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Lengendaryboss

    For goodness sake Dave, he/she is a troll. In fact he/she was banned before right here on VG247 for these exact conspiracy theories, he/she is preaching now.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. super3001

    boohoo someone dont agree with me ban them

    get a life legendarycrybaby or go play kinky persecution games with francis and fanboy

    #29 1 year ago
  30. ps3fanboy

    i’m just waiting for that Francis O guy from india to arrive any moment now and tell Lengendarychump to grow a pair…

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Lengendaryboss

    It has nothing to do with the fact i may or may not agree you, it has to do with the fact that you accusing this site of being biased towards one platform holder.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Lengendaryboss

    You have got that covered, no need to retread old ground.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. super3001


    site is heavy biased fact. you dont agree so you cry like a little bitch

    find someone else to cry over

    #33 1 year ago
  34. stretch215

    Another day, another deja vù comments section. This is the same shit over and over, and it does feel a bit like “click” generation at this point. By now it’s common knowledge that ms royally fucked up their reveal, yet we’re still getting “stories” about it that offer no new perspectives or opinions. Just some guy saying the same thing as the last guy, yet it manages to get top billing on this site. When you do things like that, you shouldn’t be surprised when people call you on it.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Lengendaryboss

    Why is practically everyone calling me a “little bitch?” Would make me feel sad if i actually cared what virtual strangers thought of me.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Gheritt White

    @33: You do realise that the only person who sounds like a whiny little bitch with teeny tiny hairless balls and a face so full of acne they’ve resorted to typing on the internet as their sole means of communication, while furiously masturbating themselves into oblivion over pictures of their own mother – cursing themselves all the while for the bleeding chafe and burn marks on their pathetic, withered excuse for a phallus – is YOU, right?

    Now fuck off and grow up, you miserable little turd.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. ps3fanboy

    @25 do that include hookers living lavishly outside pizza hut at saturdays?… just asking.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. stretch215

    @33 I wouldn’t say the site is biased, but some of the writers may be. Either way, they’re human, and we’re all biased in some form.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. Cobra951

    Reality check: This story has absolutely nothing to do with Sony. Not one word.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. MangoMantang

    @1 Console piracy is near non-existent.

    #40 1 year ago
  41. Cee


    Keep telling yourself that and you might actually believe it.

    If that’s the case then why are Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo trying so hard to stop piracy.

    #41 1 year ago
  42. bigterj216

    Do any of the writers for VG247 have their articles proofread before posting or are the articles just blasted out like water from a fire hose?

    #42 1 year ago
  43. MCTJim

    Yea they screwed up the PR, may have well been a 4 year old doing it, but their games were the best of the show hands down.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. Noodlemanny

    Xbox One reveal: “They totally screwed it up” – Bushnell
    Amazon pre-orders at 12 to 1 in favor of PS4. ———- (Till Microsoft changed the policies)
    No shit sherlock.

    #44 1 year ago
  45. DarkElfa

    I think I’m about done wanting to participate in this community. Its gone straight to hell with all these asshats and their never ending fanboy/troll garbage and nobody is doing shit about it.

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Maabren

    MS consulted a drunk monkey for PR management. Turned out real well. Lets hope their next choise do a better job.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. RocknRolla

    #8 Lengendaryboss

    That @ps3fanboy is always a douche, just IGNORE the little prick that tries to write something and thinks it looks smart.. :) works for me :D

    #47 1 year ago
  48. Lengendaryboss

    Sometimes you have to throw even the most annoying and idiotic dogs a bone :D

    #48 1 year ago
  49. metahuman

    @13: Bushnell was in charge of Atari for six years, from 1972 when the company was founded to 1978 when he quit. Atari was acquired by Warner Communications two years earlier in 1976. Bushnell’s successors, like Ray Kassar, tanked the company and Atari crashed the market in 1983. Bushnell rejoined Atari as a member of the board of directors in 2010, but he hit eject less than a year later.

    #49 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.