Tuesday 13 June 2006
Microsoft stopped production of the original Xbox as early as last July, according to the author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked, Dean Takahasi.
We sat down with Dean to chat about his new book, which uncovers Microsoft's long road to releasing Xbox 360, and he told us that Xbox production "ended in July last year. Everything that's been sold since has been inventory - Xboxes waiting to be sold".
It was certainly never in doubt that Xbox production would halt with the next-gen machine's arrival, but it's surprising that Microsoft pulled the plug at least three months before 360's November 2005 launch.
Takahasi was granted exclusive access to Microsoft's inner circle while researching his book and he explained to us why Xbox was killed off. "Microsoft wound up with a console that had a lot of money going out with every box that was sold. It would never really sell enough games to make up for the fact that Microsoft was losing so much money on the hardware. It would just be an endless black hole for money."
Amazingly, Microsoft has never actually seen any profit on the original Xbox - it lost cash with every console. But with Xbox 360, Microsoft has planned for "virtually no loss".
"I think it's possible for Microsoft to hit its target of making money in this current fiscal year - that's by 30 June 2007," Dean added, before telling us that Microsoft "isn't going to dig itself into a hole this time around".