Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News reporter Dead Takahashi, Bill Gates has spoken with unmasked glee about the position the Xbox 360 finds itself in moving into 2007. In so doing, he admits to the failings of the original Xbox, which, whilst '20% better than its rivals', was bigger, later, more expensive and lacked the software line-up.
"We did have online. We didn't switch positions on that," the Microsoft boss, who is set to retire next year, notes. What of Redmond's approach to the 360, though? "It's working perfectly. We wanted to be the guy with the small box that costs less. We wanted to have the most games. We wanted to play to our software strength, and tools and online. We wanted to swap positions with Sony. We wanted to not be a year late, not be a big box, not be a more expensive box. How are we doing on that?"
Gates also knocked Nintendo's stance, though did first concede that they are doing some things right (having previously worked with the now Microsoft-controlled Rare), before commanding us to "look at the classic Nintendo positioning. Look at the graphics. Look at Nintendo's execution in terms of online capability... If you want to play online, get an Xbox. We're not standing still."
He also highlights Microsoft's cross-platform initiatives between the 360 and the PC, before knocking the technical accomplishments of the PS3's Cell CPU. "Go look at the bandwidth problems... They took their year and burned it by not having a decent CPU strategy and then turning to Nvidia at the last minute. It's a very unusual thing. Those processors are isolated from each other."