Zune can learn from PSP, says Microsoft boss

Microsoft's Zune can learn from the "cautionary tales" of the PSP, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Devision boss Robbie Bach has said.

Speaking in an interview withVenture Beat (opens in new tab), Bach said that while the PSP was "reasonably successful" as a games portable, he thinks that music and video were an afterthought for the platform.

"The PSP is a reasonably successful product at the profit-and-loss level. But as a product concept, there are cautionary tales to learn from it," he said. "While it is good at producing audio, it's not a good music player because it doesn't have local storage (except for flash memory slots).

"You can't keep your music there. It has a beautiful screen, but you can only get the video under the Universal Media Disc format. That format hasn't been successful.

"On a game level, it has done well," he continued. "But even there, it is mostly PlayStation 2 ports. There isn't much original content. When you do these devices, they can't be pretty good at a lot of things. They need to be great at what they do."

Learning form the PSP, says Bach, Microsoft has decided to focus on music with its Zune music player, which means that we shouldn't expect a singing and dancing Zune games service any time soon.

"We think of it more as a portable entertainment player," said Bach. "It is technically possible to do games on there. But you aren't going to see a broad gaming effort from us until we sort that through and have it figured out.

"I don't think of Zune like the PSP. The PSP is a game player that also does video and music. We think of Zune as a broad-based entertainment device."

That said, according to Bach the Zune is a greater platform for games than the iPod, which recently unveiled plans for aniPhone games store (opens in new tab).

"It is more compelling than an iPod because it actually has a D-pad. From a gaming perspective, it is reasonably well suited. You can read a little or read a lot into it. The point is that we think of it as a portable entertainment device."

Courtesy of CVG (opens in new tab).

Jun 13, 2008