Peter Moore (former Xbox CEO, now primarily involved in sports…) says Microsoft has sought to create healthy, fair competition between itself and Sony for the players’ favour.
Moore is a fascinating figure who has also had a spell in the games industry, moving from Reebok to SEGA’s US division and taking over from Bernie Stolar, so to speak, to oversee the launch of the SEGA Dreamcast. He moved to Microsoft in 2003, rose quickly up the ranks, and then to Electronic Arts in 2007. He became head of EA Sports, but a decade later, he left the games industry behind to become CEO of Liverpool FC, a footballing powerhouse, until 2020. From there, he became Honorary Chairman of Gresford Athletic FC, an adviser to Wrexham AFC, and Senior Vice President and Director of Sport and Live Services at Unity. (Interestingly, Unity is run by his former boss, a particular ex-EA CEO John Riccitiello…)
IGN discovered that Moore had appeared as a panellist on a podcast. On the Front Office Sports podcast, he touched on his past. According to Moore, Microsoft supported the console war that SEGA essentially started in the early nineties to get the Genesis (here Mega Drive) to outsell Nintendo’s SNES. According to Moore, the console war was not promoted divisively but to challenge each other in the market. He emphasised that he was thinking of Sony. If Microsoft had deviated from the path set after the first Xbox because of, for example, the infamous Red Ring of Death of the Xbox 360, the games industry would be a poorer place, and there would not be the competition we see today.
Except that current Xbox CEO Phil Spencer takes a different view. He has repeatedly pointed out that a console war is not healthy for the games industry and that it would be better if there were some collaboration. (Let’s not forget that Google Stadia is why Microsoft and Sony teamed up over cloud technologies.) But today, society is so divided that it has become an unmissable topic.