The “next generation will be a whole new game,” says original Xbox boss

By Matt Martin, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 09:41 GMT

Robbie Bach, original Xbox boss, has said that there will be another console generation after this one, but it’s not likely to make use of physical media.

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Bach said that the lines between a home console and set-top box are likely to blur even further, and that physical media will be pushed to the sidelines.

“I think there will be another generation. What the console looks like is a very interesting question,” he told Geekwire.

“You’ve got to walk around looking like a complete goofball wearing this crazy thing on your head” – Robbie Bach on VR

When asked if new console will use physical media, he replied “Probably not, so how does that look?”

“Is it just a game box or is it more? What’s the balance between what an Apple TV is and what an Xbox or a PlayStation 4 is? These are really interesting questions, and the teams going to have to wrestle with those. That next generation will be a whole new game.”

Bach was boss of Microsoft’s game division for over 10 years where he oversaw the original Xbox and it’s evolution, the launch of Halo and the early days of Xbox Live.

Looking at other games technology, he said he sees a big problem with the current push for virtual reality.

“My observation is that the key question is commercialization. I think that the technology and the concept is wicked. I mean really powerful, and not just in gaming.

“The problem is, right now, you’ve got to walk around looking like a complete goofball wearing this crazy thing on your head. You look like you should be in a Star Wars movie. By the way, they have problems with people getting sick using it. There’s certain conditions where it’s really tough. They have to figure out how to commercialize it.”

Bach also commented on the observation by some that Microsoft should spin-off its successful Xbox business into a separate venture, noting that the two are intertwined through technology. And besides, current Xbox One boss Phil Spencer is leading a renewed games business.

“I don’t think it really matters because I think Microsoft has been pretty definitive about the direction they want to go. They spent a lot of money on Minecraft. They’ve been very definitive about restructuring the group to put Phil Spencer in charge and he really is running the business now. I think they’re investing in the games. I think it’s somewhat of a moot point.

“I also point out, people don’t realize how intertwined the Xbox business is with Microsoft technology. It’s not a simple thing. I think Xbox as a standalone business would have its own set of challenges.”

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