Xbox “encouraged” console wars to drive competition, former exec says

Former Xbox executive Peter Moore has said his team “encouraged the console wars” during his Xbox 360-era tenure – as a way to drive competition between Microsoft and Sony.

This competition has helped the industry, Moore continued, and saw Microsoft continuing to commit to video games despite the Xbox 360’s costly “Red Ring of Death” debacle.

“We encouraged the console wars, not to create division, but to challenge each other,” Moore said, speaking on the Front Office Sports podcast (thanks, IGN). “And when I say each other I mean Microsoft and Sony.

“If Microsoft hadn’t of stuck the course after the Xbox, after the Red Rings of Death, gaming would be a poorer place for it, you wouldn’t have the competition you have today.”

Moore helped launch the Xbox 360, following years of service during the Dreamcast era at Sega. Memorably, he announced Halo 2’s release date via a tattoo – though sources disagree on whether the stunt was faked.

“If we didn’t resolve Red Rings of Death the way that we did I know darn well there’d be no Xbox today,” Moore continued, referencing the infamous circle of error lights which showed on failed Xbox 360 hardware. Estimates differ, though millions of consoles were believed to have been affected.

After initially attempting to downplay customer concerns, Moore published a July 2007 letter promising a three-year warranty and offering free returns. Moore has spoken of this as a make-or-break moment for Microsoft in the past, and claimed the company expected to spend $1.15bn on replacement consoles.

Moore’s later career has seen him hold high profile roles as boss of EA Sports and CEO of Liverpool Football Club. He currently serves as an exec at Unity.