Xbox 360: An insider's story

Wednesday 12 July 2006
Dean Takahashi, author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked, knows more than most about what's going on behind the scenes at Microsoft. His new book (he also penned Opening the Xbox) reveals exclusive details about the birth of Microsoft's next-gen hardware. We tracked this intrepid journalist down and quizzed him about the past, present and future of gaming.

How difficult was it to research the book?
I posed the idea of the book to Microsoft as early as March 2005, and I was told "Ok, yeah, we'll get back to you". But when I got in contact again in August I was told "no". Everyone was too busy with Xbox 360's worldwide launch.

So, I went out to Amsterdam on my own and saw Peter Moore. He said to send him an email and make a pitch. I did, and he approved it. That meant Microsoft would make people available to me after the launch of Xbox 360.

Above: Dean Takahashi, author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked and Opening the Xbox

Is there any weight to the Microsoft handheld rumours?
I think Microsoft got started on it sometime in 2005. And I think that it's clear the company is not going to launch a product this year - it probably would have been announced at E3.

The product seems to be in its earlier stages and nobody knows when it's going to launch, so that means it could also be something that Microsoft is considering, but that might be cancelled.

But there are a lot of people who think that this is the obvious hole in the product line. It would make sense to go after PSP and DS, where a lot of the profits of the games industry are now shifting. More specifically, people that I've talked to think that J Allard is working on a handheld of some kind, which has pulled him off working with Xbox 360.