Nov 19, 2007
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division, has thrown down the gauntlet to Sony's PlayStation Network, insisting that Xbox Live has "no rivals."
Speaking to the LA Times, Bach said that Microsoft was years ahead of its rivals when it came to online gaming and downloadable media: "It's fair to say that Xbox Live is clearly head and shoulders above anything anyone else has tried to do.
"We don't have competition. Sony has done some things online, but nothing that can be called a service. We have a big advantage and we're going to keep pressing that advantage."
Xbox Live recently celebrated its fifth birthday and currently boasts eight million subscribers worldwide. As well as game content, movies and television shows are planned to arrive shortly via Films on Demand.
In comparison, Sony's PlayStation Network has three million subscribers - though it should be noted that the PS3's online service carries no subscription fee whatsoever.
"Demographically, when we started, you would say that it was a place for serious gamers. That has changed a lot in the last five years," Bach continued. "It's now become a great place for casual gamers. When one of your leading games is Uno, you realize you've reached a new type of customer.
"Secondly, it's expanded from being a gaming service to an entertainment service with a social network. We have now expanded into the world of movies and TV shows. It's become a much broader place for people to experience entertainment.
"We have a broad, long-term vision for connected entertainment across all platforms. That includes music, video, television and gaming. You're going to see pieces of that roll out over time."
However, Bach said that Microsoft isn't ready to talk specifics just yet.