200°
Submitted by Walker 434d ago | opinion piece

Xbox Project Founder Nat Brown: Stupid Stupid Xbox

Nat Brown Write: I was a founder of the original xBox project at Microsoft and gave it its name. Almost 14 years after the painful, pointless, and idiotic internal cage-match to get it started and funded, the hard selling of a compelling and lucrative living-room product to Bill (and then Steve as he began to take over), a product that consumers would want and love and demand...

But the past 5 years, and the last year in particular, have been simply painful to watch. Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect. Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo – you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures). A complete lack of tactical versus strategic understanding of the long game of the living room. It culminated for me in recent coverage of....a new LA xBox studio to create interactive content. (Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360)

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Walker  +   434d ago
Wow, the rage...so palpable.
Septic  +   434d ago
Yeah but most of it is so unnecessary like the little prompts when going to the dashboard? REALLY?? I wonder how he fares when he uses a PS3.

The pointless cage match seems to be taking place in his head.
nukeitall  +   433d ago
@Septic:

I find myself kind of agreeing with him as the Xbox dashboard is pretty good, but only in relations to what else is out there, and not what it could have been.

MS could do a lot more to streamline and make the dashboard even more user friendly. I hope many of these things find their way onto the next generation.

MS needs this guy back! Get him now!
scofios  +   433d ago
Waw the founder of a big failure called XBOX1 is calling others failures
Snookies12  +   434d ago
"yes, Sony, Nintendo - you are, I'm afraid, stumbling failures".

I'm sorry, but if this dude is indeed focusing more on the past year he is SORELY mistaken with that comment.

Sony has turned things around so much these past 2-3 years. I bought a PS3 when they first launched, and even I had to admit they had basically no games and their service wasn't that great. However lately, with PS+, tons of wonderful exclusives, a re-branding and unification of its services, Sony has really done a wonderful job as opposed to when they started out this generation.

Nintendo is really picking things up as well. The Wii U launch wasn't so hot, but with titles like X, Fire Emblem/Shin Megami, Wind Waker HD, etc., it appears as though they're really starting to try appealing to hardcore fans in the near future. I may not own a Wii U, but I'm excited for those that do, and look forward to its future (which is one I'm seriously considering investing in now.)

So I'm sorry buddy, but after that comment he made, it's kind of hard to take him seriously... Obviously he isn't paying attention to what's going on lately.
#2 (Edited 434d ago ) | Agree(19) | Disagree(12) | Report | Reply
yesmynameissumo  +   434d ago
"Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo – you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures)." He's right. Sony and Nintendo have stumbled faaaaar more than Microsoft this gen. It's had to have had an effect.
#2.1 (Edited 434d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
classic200  +   434d ago
He his basically saying, these two companies stumble and let microsoft control the industry, this wouldnt happen if they did not stumble.

Its the truth the xbox would not be sitting strongly in america right now if nintendo and sony play their cards perfectly. Sony is pushing hard now and that is great but they started off stumbling with the price point while wii was stumbling with power.
dcbronco  +   433d ago
Snookies,

The slip ups Sony and Nintendo made can't be fixed this generation. The mistakes they made Sony made were the Cell and Blu-ray. The only change there has been that it is cheaper to produce those parts so the cost have fallen in line with the price of the console. But that damage is done.

For Nintendo, they went out and pulled a PS3 in reverse. A under powered system that will be obsolete by the end of the year. The only cure for that will be the a new console. The Wii U is dead on arrival. Zelda can't save it. Nintendo will make money. But they will quickly become a third wheel.

I do agree MS has made some mistakes. I don't believe they will focus on Kinect. And looking at the way content holders are hording their content and moving toward their own services, MS and everyone else need to be making their own content. That is actually forward thinking.

On the dashboard. Those things are a little less important. I don't like the wait times. But I believe those things are being addressed if the rumored specs are real. Always on, separate resources for the apps and mandatory installs make me think load times are a key they are working on.
#2.3 (Edited 433d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
MultiConsoleGamer  +   434d ago
He's so bitter.

Good luck getting another job in the industry.
cleft5  +   434d ago
Sadly, guys like this know so much that they can get a job pretty much anywhere. Like him or hate him, he is an exceptionally knowledgeable person.

Even if he does come off like an asshole, just look at CliffyB, David Jaffe, David Cage, and Dennis Dyack to name a few. Complete assholes, but their experience and knowledge will always net them a job or a startup company.
FunAndGun  +   434d ago
I could be wrong but David Cage always seems pretty humble and I never really viewed him as an asshole.

didn't disagree with you, I just don't think he fits with the other people in your list.
mandf  +   434d ago
You are wrong about David Cage. Link an article where he swears, disrespects, or bashes anything in an uneducated manner.
rainslacker  +   433d ago
Why is that sad? He had a major role to play in the first Xbox, and as such his knowledge would be welcomed by many in the industry.

The first Xbox had clear goals, his current beef is that those goals aren't living up to what they should, and instead MS is focusing on a future potential that just doesn't exist in the manner that they seem to think it wil. It seems to be pretty fair criticism to me.

I know if I were a big part in creating something, I would be disappointed in a new direction that I didn't feel was viable for the long term. I don't think he's right in all his assertions, but I do believe he does make valid points that should be addressed by MS, or the industry as a whole.
chukamachine  +   434d ago
What a nob. screaming at the moon.
cgoodno  +   434d ago
This guy doesn't understand universal UI design. All those things he complains about may annoy him, but are necessary for the common person and help to inform users of changes that they may have accidentally have performed. It's a "Better Safe Than Sorry" UI design.
yesmynameissumo  +   434d ago
It's Windows UI design. Not one of "Better safe than sorry", but "Better have the user do all the work while i'll just ask the same question over and over."
cgoodno  +   434d ago
Nah, that's Sony and the PSN store when you try to purchase something. I hope they learn and change it to mimic their new U.S. browser store in the future.
yesmynameissumo  +   434d ago
The PS Store is not the XMB. I'm just saying the XMB doesn't SPAM me with questions like the 360's OS.
FamilyGuy  +   433d ago
His complaints are valid, the PS3 doesn't Waste my time warning me before I quit a game, it doesn't ask me where I'd like to save an app, it doesn't phrase general questions to me as if it doesn't know whether I'm doing something game, app or service related. That WOULD be annoying.

The time between pressing "Start Game" to when you're actually playing should be faster (on all consoles) too. Those "splash screens" should only exist the first time you play a game and be at least skip-able thereafter. I know that's more of a dev thing but they could still implement something like how game invite launching lets you bypass it.

The PS Store gripe you mention IS horrible, with ps+ going in to download something for free takes forever just to get to the point where the thing you want starts downloading, it's extremely annoying. Installing sucks too.

This guys MAIN GRIPE is that he can't put out an indie game on the 360 and stand a real chance at making a lot of money on it because it gets hidden, ignored and isn't advertised. He's an indie dev now an feels their frustration with MS.
#5.2 (Edited 433d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
cgoodno  +   433d ago
***His complaints are valid, the PS3 doesn't Waste my time warning me before I quit a game, it doesn't ask me where I'd like to save an app, it doesn't phrase general questions to me as if it doesn't know whether I'm doing something game, app or service related. That WOULD be annoying. ***

It does all of those but the last.

1. When you use the PS button to exit, just like the middle button on the 360, it asks you if you want to quit you current game.

2. It does indeed ask you where you want to store things if you have an external HDD attached.
FamilyGuy  +   433d ago
1. When you use the PS button to exit, just like the middle button on the 360, it asks you if you want to quit you current game.

2. It does indeed ask you where you want to store things if you have an external HDD attached.

1. When you hold the PS button or when you press it and select "quit game" all it ask is yes or no, the warning about losing save data does not exist. It's just "Quit Game"? Yes/No

2. It only ask about video files, photos and maybe themes. It doesn't ask where you'd like to save an app, a game, an avatar.
cgoodno  +   433d ago
The warning is the same as the Yes/no on PS3 with just more text. Same exact thing.

It does ask you where you want to save things you download from the PSN. I've had it ask me.
DiRtY  +   434d ago
WTF did I just read?

He is disappointed that MS actually checks the Xbox and does a market research to see the potential for it (he calls it cage-fight)? It is a freaking 5 billion USD investment!

Of course there is a long process before a console launches or a company joins this industry. Did he expected Bill Gates or Ballmer to just nod and say: "Go ahead. Here are 5 billion USD."

And the "Oh I am confused, because my console lets me decide which storage media I want to pick" is so pointless as well.
Sp1d3ynut  +   434d ago
EVERYTHING this moron complained about was pointless. It's like he just woke up from a 7-year coma, and has no clue how the consoles have evolved since PS2/XBOX. Hell, the console experience is far more intuitive and less invasive than that of the PC. I think this guy would be better off playing with a toaster....and a fork.
Sp1d3ynut  +   434d ago
This guy is an idiot....glad he's no longer involved with MS.
Convas  +   434d ago
As soon as he said Apple could crush the console market, I was done.

NEXT.
rainslacker  +   433d ago
I don't think he was talking about crushing the console game market, just the integrated media market, while also serving games. Apple could certainly cause a major disruption to the market, and if they truly wanted to get into the game console market they would be a force to be reckoned with. Given their current marketing and business strategy though, it probably wouldn't affect anything for the long term. Honestly for them, I don't know if the console market is lucrative enough to really be worth their while.
KillrateOmega  +   434d ago
While he does make some true/arguable points, this guy just comes off as more butthurt than anything...
Adropacrich2  +   434d ago
I'm not entirely happy with how MS handles certain aspects. XBLIG for example could have been an equivalent of Youtube for games or at the very least it should have been successful, but it's just one gigantic mess and a total waste of time concerning what it does for MS. Games for Windows another complete joke

Huge fan of Xbox but MS does critically drop the ball in certain areas
spicelicka  +   433d ago
I don't see how he's wrong, I mean if I designed it I'd be pretty pissed too at what they've done to it. He's nitpicking only cuz he notices all the things that don't align with his vision. We just look at it from the outside.

He's right about a lot of the stuff too, I'm surprised he didn't mention the biggest problem, which is the lack of first party software, but I guess his relation is with the design and UI not the games. Also got forbid that avatar crap system and charging real money for Virtual things. I'm surprised he's not pissed at that.

People here are acting as if everything is perfect and he's being a hater, but I have to agree with him even though I'm not bothered by some of the stuff he mentioned.
rainslacker  +   433d ago
He didn't mention 1st party stuff because MS intent was never to be a major provider of games to the market. It was always meant as a Trojan horse for the living room, game revenue was just icing on the cake. 1st party, and 3rd party support, were necessary to make the system take off as a game machine. With that success MS was in a better position to be a content provider which was more important to them.
HonestDragon  +   433d ago
"Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect. Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo – you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures)."

Under what information does he boast this statement as fact? The Kinect is sure an innovation all right. An innovation that falls flat on its face because it can't read movements to save its life or have good controls for its games. Or for that matter have good games. 2012 was not a good year for Kinect games.

And how exactly are Sony and Nintendo failing? Is it because of their marketing strategies? Exclusive content? Give some information to back up your claims! Otherwise, they seem to be doing well from what I can see.

"These messages and many others – impossible Xbox Live sign-in and password recovery, accounting/membership, to name just a few – are made all the worse by the huge amount of time that passes while waiting for content to load. You don’t turn on your xBox to play a game quickly — it takes multiple minutes to load, flow through its splash screens, and then get you playing."

Okay, I'll give him that one. It's excruciating to go through many different menus and windows that mention useless information or really odd things to mention. In the end, it's very time consuming.
#12 (Edited 433d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Ulf  +   433d ago
This guy is... really not understanding.

He thinks an iOS TV can boot the other consoles from the livingroom.. lol

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