Microsoft Exec: "Apple Knows How To Compete"

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We noted an interesting comment about Apple from Robbie Bach, senior vice president of Microsoftis games unit, which is responsible for the Xbox, among other things. Mr. Bach was interviewed by the Seattle Times concerning Big Redmondis Xbox Live (an online gaming service for the Xbox), as well as the widely anticipated next generation Xbox, which has been rumored to be based on the PowerPC G5.

The comments about Apple do not involve the G5, however, but rather Sonyis upcoming portable PlayStation device. Sonyis portable gaming device will reportedly play both movies and music, in addition to games, and the Times asked whether or not that would be competing with an upcoming product from Microsoft. In his responses, Mr. Bach had some complimentary things to say about Apple. From the interview.

[Seattle Times]: Sonyis PSP game device could compete with the Portable Media Center Microsoft is launching later this year. How do you see it playing out?

[Robbie Bach]: Well I think the PSP is an interesting product because really what Sonyis doing is theyive decided to go compete with everybody. It competes with the iPod. Itis going to compete with Portable Media Center, which isnit just Microsoft, itis Microsoft plus all the hardware partners who are supporting that. Itis going to compete with Game Boy SP, Game Boy DS. Theyive really taken on Microsoft, Nokia at some level, Apple, itis pretty ambitious.

PSP, they run the risk of trying to be a little bit of all things to all people and then end up being great for a small audience. Movies to get to the PSP are going to have to be in a proprietary format, so howis that going to happen? Am I going to buy my movies a second time? I donit know. People look at durability. Itis got a beautiful screen on it, but is that going to survive the rough-and-tumble world of a portable device. So I think they have some real interesting product ideas but some real challenges, and creating an all-in-one device is hard.

I think their experience with PSX in Japan would point that out. They have this device thatis a PS2 plus a DVD player plus a DVD recorder plus a few other things. And I think their early feedback on that is it hasnit sold very well because people arenit sure what it is. I think PSP certainly is going to have that challenge. And Iill tell you, Nintendo will put up a very impressive fight. This is the heart and soul of the company. And we all know Apple knows how to compete. So it will be interesting.

There is much more about the Xbox, Xbox Live, and related technologies in the full story at the Seattle Times.

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