Without Mattrick future of Xbox One less clear, to be helmed by Windows Chief?

July 7, 2013

The future of Xbox One to be helmed by Microsoft Windows chief When Don Mattrick, former Microsoft executive of the company’s entertainment division, resigned from his post months before the launch of the Xbox One, many were shocked. However, rumors around Mattrick’s departure have been swirling months prior to the Xbox One’s reveal.

Microsoft has been dragged through the mud in the past several weeks leading up to E3 due to its controversial always online and used game DRM policies. Mattrick was the face of the Xbox One since the beginning and have had to face many challenges with selling the vision of the console. Mattrick notoriously told the press to buy the Xbox 360 if they don’t have an Internet connection and also defended the $499 price tag of the Xbox One by stating that Microsoft is offering consumers “thousands” of dollars in value.

Mattrick was also the one that delivered the news of its U-turn on the Xbox One’s controversial policies days after E3. Many assumed that Mattrick might have been asked to leave by Microsoft for the debacle, but industry experts believe that he intended to leave all along.

When John Riccitiello, former CEO of Electronics Arts stepped down back in March, there was a rumor that Don Mattrick was being courted to be CEO of the largest video game publisher in the world. We recently found out with Mattrick’s new post as CEO of Zynga, Mark Pincus, majority share holder of the company has also been courting him for some time as well.

A recent SEC filing via Reuters  revealed that Mattrick will be earning over $19 million in his first year at Zynga which includes a $5 million signing bonus.

As you can see, regardless of how things turned out with the Xbox One’s reveal, Mattrick is viewed by most industry leaders as a visionary and as someone that can get the job done. Mattrick has been largely credited for turning the ailing Xbox business around with the Xbox 360 and with Xbox Live Gold have grown its subscription base to 50 million members.

According to an inside source, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer had Don Mattrick pinned as the new head of hardware and entertainment business as part of a broad reorganization that would impact all departments, bringing these two divisions under one person. However, Mattrick has been viewed as someone with great ambition and quite possibly have been vying to make the jump to a CEO position.

With Mattrick out of the picture, there has been some concern as to who will now steer the Xbox ship. Phil Harrison, former Sony exec who recently joined Microsoft still has to prove himself and is probably out of the running. Other Xbox execs such as Phil Spencer, Yusuf Mehdi and Marc Whitten may not be viewed as being “strong” enough to run both the Xbox division and hardware, which includes the Surface tablets.

According to a source speaking to Bloomberg, Ballmer’s next pick after Mattrick is Windows Chief, Julie Larson-Green. Unlike Mattrick, who started out in the industry working at a game developer in his teens, Larson-Green cut her teeth on UI design for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. She later went on to oversee the launch of Windows 7 and the controversial Windows 8. 

My personal belief is that the Xbox One’s incorporation of the Windows 8 kernel was a mandate handed down from the top, to which Mattrick obliged. Microsoft’s agenda from day one was to overtake the living room with its Window’s business at all costs.

On one hand as a consumer, I am curious to see where Microsoft takes the Xbox One business in the future – voice controlled Xbox Office suite? However, as a gamer I am somewhat worried as to what the vision and strategy will be going forward with such a Windows top-heavy executive backing. While the core Xbox execs will still be working in the trenches, vision, direction and strategy will always come from above.

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49 Responses to “Without Mattrick future of Xbox One less clear, to be helmed by Windows Chief?”

  1. Roca.:

    It looks clear to me
    http://www.xboxonevspsfour.com/

  2. Godless:

    In windows, MS has by far the best general purpose operating system that will work on just about any PC configuration.

    I think that makes them more than qualified to get a good OS put together for a fixed platform, One that they have had a hand in designing no less.

    Not concerned in the slightest.

    As for Mattrick. . .He’s getting an obscene amount of money, no bloody wonder he can’t wipe that smug fucking grin of his face.

  3. Roca.:

    “I think that makes them more than qualified to get a good OS put together”

    have you heard about the Kin, WP7/WP8, W8, Vista…too name a few.

  4. Roca.:

    Interesting…

    “Microsoft makes more than 75% of its profits from Windows and Office. Less than 25% comes from its vaunted servers and tools. And Microsoft makes nothing from its xBox/Kinect entertainment division, while losing vast sums in its on-line division (negative $350M-$750M/quarter).”

    “The entertainment division could be spun off, sold to someone like Sony or possibly Barnes & Noble, or dramatically reduced in size. Unable to make a profit it will increasingly be seen as a distraction to the battle for saving Windows, and Microsoft leadership has long shown it doesn’t know how to profitably grow this business unit.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2013/01/20/sell-microsoft-now-game-over-ballmer-loses/

  5. CarlB:

    Indeed…

    “Sony is best known as a consumer electronics company, making PlayStation game consoles and televisions. And it loses money on almost every gadget it sells…

    Sony, it is suggested, might be better off just selling insurance.

    Or just making movies and music. But not electronics.

    A new report from the investment banking firm Jefferies delivered a harsh assessment of Sony’s electronics business. ‘Electronics is its Achilles’ heel and, in our view, it is worth zero,’ wrote Atul Goyal, consumer technology analyst for Jefferies, in the report, released this week.

    …it so happens that Sony’s most successful business is selling insurance. While it doesn’t run this business in the United States or Europe, Sony makes a lot of money writing life, auto and medical policies in Japan.

    …Its financial arm accounts for 63 percent of Sony’s total operating profit last year. Life insurance has been its biggest moneymaker over the last decade, earning the company 933 billion yen ($9.07 billion) in operating profit in the 10 years that ended in March…

    In that time, Sony’s electronics division has lost a cumulative $8.5 billion.

    …to a small band of analysts, Mr. Loeb’s prescriptions for Sony are shortsighted, merely milking the company’s profit-making content business for good money to throw after the bad.

    As proof of the untenable future facing Sony’s electronics, critics point to its televisions and smartphones. Competition is intense, and in cellphones Sony remains a bit player. Even where it is more successful, in digital cameras or game consoles, it is struggling to stay abreast of stronger companies.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/business/global/sonys-bread-and-butter-its-not-electronics.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  6. phranctoast:

    But but but Sony……..

  7. phranctoast:

    Wow!!!!!

    “http://www.kotaku.com/2013xbx/onelaunch/titanfall-pricey-sp.html

    Respawn’s highly anticipated first-person shooter, Titanfall, is coming to the Xbox One as it debut killer app. However, much to chagrin of gamers, it will not be boasting a single player campaign mode straight ahead out of the box.

    EA has purportedly experienced a drop in pre-orders as a result which has surprised the developer. “With the huge focus on multiplayer gaming these days we expected Titanfall to fit with present gaming trends,” said Jennifer Soto of EA, “but it looks like the demand is there for a comprehensive campaign experience.”

    This has prompted Respawn to reconsider its multiplayer-centric approach and add a new singleplayer DLC pack available at launch. “The campaign DLC will be available day one when the title is released.” confirmed Soto. “It’s the developer’s ambitious effort yet.”

    EA may mean ambitious not only in effort but in price. The DLC will reportedly be listed at $45 for every platform it is launched on. No word on gameplay length either. “We feel this DLC is as luxurious as it gets.” mentioned Soto. “The developer feels only the PSPGo and $200 bottles of scotch can exceed our product’s luxuriousness and meaningful gameplay experience.”

  8. Roca.:

    Seems like you were right about Titanfall Phranc

  9. CarlB:

    But but but don’t dare mention Sony…….. unless it’s to sing it’s praises……..

  10. CarlB:

    “Wow!!!!!”

    You got duped by a a make-believe article on the Amazon forum, way to go phranc!!!!!

  11. Godless:

    LMAO

    Roca, I have PCs & laptops with Widows vita, W7 & W8 and like 99% of the rest of PC users I have yet to find anything better for business & gaming. As for the windows Phones, I really them, and will be getting one when I replace my current one.

    Now!. . .The Money side of things. .Too funny. .I think Carl pretty much said what I would have, except I would maybe have thrown in how much less the Gaming division of MS has lost when compared with the gaming division of Sony. At least MS has been making profits since 2007. that’s just one year after the launch of the 360, They have an overall loss due to them cutting there teeth with the original xbox, then a loss for the launching year of the 360, division unlike Sony who have pretty much lost billions every year up until last year. Talk about throwing stones from a glass house :D

    Like I’ve said many times before (in fact every time you mention MS and their losses) I’d be much more concerned with Sony’s ability to make money than with MS

    http://www.neowin.net/news/report-microsofts-xbox-division-has-lost-nearly-3-billion-in-10-years

  12. phranctoast:

    But but but I have nothing to add to the MS conversation at hand so I’ll detail and troll.

  13. phranctoast:

    Isn’t she the one running windows division into the ground?

    Good choice MS…..

    Your XBOX and hardware business never looked better. Lol.

  14. phranctoast:

    * derail. *

  15. phranctoast:

    “You got duped by a a make-believe article on the Amazon forum, way to go phranc!!!!!”

    Nope.

    When did you realize it though? By the last sentence or did you actually try and go to link?

  16. phranctoast:

    “Like I’ve said many times before (in fact every time you mention MS and their losses) I’d be much more concerned with Sony’s ability to make money than with MS”

    I believe if you’re forced to counter and argument by using the other side you immediately lost that said argument.

    Think about it in any logistical way of debating.

    Person 1:
    Company A pollutes the environment and saves big from not having to properly disposed of Haz-Mat.

    Person 2 counter:
    Oh yeah? Well company B also does that, so….there… Sticks out tongue…

  17. twilight:

    I see they are at it again Phranctoast trying to compare a multi diverse company to a company that doesn’t have near the portfolio that Sony does. Of course, Sony would suffer more overall losses. Let’s talking about gaming. Let’s see Microsoft released lower priced hardware and had a complete year head start on the market in comparison to their competition that released higher quality hardware at a higher cost which came out well later. Microsoft has dwindled their head start and now the Ps3 is now leading the Xbox360 in worldwide sales. The next generation of gaming systems has been announced and Microsoft has managed to lose the console war with their draconian policies and attitude before the console war even officially begins with the launch of the consoles. They are now even getting destroyed with pre-orders in even America. Yeah, Microsoft is doing quite well with its gaming division. They are strongly poised to loose the next generation console war.

  18. Godless:

    Someone had better tell roca the Titan fall thing was complete bullshit.

    HE’ll be gutted, probably knocked one out to celebrate, only find it was all a lie :D

    Phranc, if roca would stop trolling with negatives about MS, you guys wouldn’t keep getting schooled on how much worse Sony is doing.

    It’s not trolling! It’s counter trolling ;)

    Twilight.
    What you fail to realise is that MS is new to this industry, very new to producing hardware, and they started of ropey, and have had to learn some expensive and damaging lessons over the last decade.
    But they have still stepped into a fiercely competitive industry, and are doing better at making Money than Sony. They have also more than tripled there user base from the first to second console. Sony almost halved theirs. You need to keep all these things in perspective.

    For now Sony is off to a flyer for this coming Gen,which is great, because they could seriously do with some good coming their way. but I can see MS bulling back to be much closer by time of launch.(even if it’s just because PS4s are sold out)

    I don’t think next gen will be nearly so one sided as the Sony boys would like it to be. especially with MS having what many consider to be a better line up of games for the first year.

  19. phranctoast:

    “Someone had better tell roca the Titan fall thing was complete bullshit.”

    LOL… Yeah..
    The sad thing, knowing MS and EA how we do, it’s completely “feasible”.

    Thumbs up to the OP!!

    “Phranc, if roca would stop trolling with negatives about MS, you guys wouldn’t keep getting schooled on how much worse Sony is doing.”

    IMO, if the conversation can represent the original topic in anyway it wouldn’t really be trolling. This one for instance can use MS financials as a topic, as the reported next person in line (Julie Larson-Greene) has been struggling with sales and hardware as of late so, the choice seems odd to say the least. Bringing up MS financials works conversation wise. Countering with Sony’s is irrelevant to the MS financials.

    “It’s not trolling! It’s counter trolling”

    That made me LOL.:D

  20. twilight:

    Godless,
    A blown lead is a blown lead. As far as games go, this is subjective because different people have different tastes in games. Microsoft may have games but they are shooting themaelves in the foot by charging $500 for the system. Also, you have to look at the fact that Microsoft starts off with launch with exclusives then the exclusive game selection fizzles away down the road.

  21. twilight:

    Sony has consistently shown that they will continue to support their system with new and innovative games.

  22. twilight:

    “themselves.”

  23. Roca.:

    @Godless
    Better lineup? Sony has only announced about 15% of the PS4 exclusives. You will see more at GamesCom and at Tokyo Game Show.

    Microsoft announced all of their exclusives that are currently in development.

    Look at the poll and pre-order numbers
    http://www.xboxonevspsfour.com/

    My the manager at my local gamestop told their are 27 XB1 pre-orders vs 94 for the PS4.

    -PS4 is leading in pre-orders on Amazon worldwide. In some markets the XB1 doesn’t even show up in the 1st page of the best seller list for 2013

    >>Amazon Best Sellers of 2013 (So Far):
    •Amazon US: PS4 is at #3; XB1 #6
    •Amazon UK: PS4 is at #3; XB1 #47
    •Amazon Ger: PS4 is at #1; XB1 #16
    •Amazon Fr: PS4 is at #7; XB1 #55
    •Amazon Ca: PS4 is at #1l XB1 #8
    •Amazon Italy: PS4 is at #4; XB1 #51

    In some countries the PS4 is almost $200 cheaper than the inferior XB1. Then you add Sony’s history of providing great exclusives and the value PS+ offers to gamers and there’s little reason to get a XB1 over a PS4, specially when most of the XB1 audience play MP games such as COD, AC, Elder’s Scroll, BF and a few others.

  24. phranctoast:

    During the weekend I went up to see Phish at Spac, and one of the people parked next to us was a Gamestop manager, so I had to ask him some questions.

    He said, Gamestop purposely held back the amount of Xbones they were going to preorder, which directly affected the MS decision to drop the DRM BS.

    Since then they allocated more to presale, but the numbers are still almost 4:1 in PS4′s favor.

  25. CarlB:

    “But but but I have nothing to add to the MS conversation at hand so I’ll detail and troll.”

    That seems to be pretty much what you did before you posted that, except you couldn’t even find real details. Better late than never I guess.

    “Bringing up MS financials works conversation wise. Countering with Sony’s is irrelevant to the MS financials.”

    If what was brought up suggests Microsoft would sell the xBox division to Sony, bringing up Sony’s inability to make what they already have profit, let alone their relative inability to afford such a buy, works. But, hey, it’s not as if I brought up Sony here with the very first post, let alone the fourth one. ;)

    “Microsoft may have games but they are shooting themaelves in the foot by charging $500 for the system.”

    Agreed. However, if they can change sweeping DRM policies in such a short time, certainly they can drop the price shortly after launch if necessary.

  26. phranctoast:

    “If what was brought up suggests Microsoft would sell the xBox division to Sony, bringing up Sony’s inability to make what they already have profit, let alone their relative inability to afford such a buy, works. But, hey, it’s not as if I brought up Sony here with the very first post, let alone the fourth one”

    Which would have been a good point if it was actually brought up. Better late than never I guess.

  27. CarlB:

    “The entertainment division (which includes the ‘xBox/Kinect entertainment division’) could be spun off, sold to someone like Sony or possibly Barnes & Noble, or dramatically reduced in size.”

    http://gamer.blorge.com/2013/07/07/don-mattrick-was-looking-to-leave-xbox-to-be-helmed-by-windows-chief/comment-page-1/#comment-200624

    “good point”

    Thanks.

  28. phranctoast:

    For?

    I still don’t see where you said that….

    Even your quotes don’t which I’m sure you can’t take credit for saying anyway.

  29. twilight:

    Roca and Phranctoast,
    Sony is destroying Xbox One in pre-order sales. It has now been reported by Ign that Gamestop has ran out of its allocation for Ps4 launch systems. At the rate that Sony is going, they are going to decimate the competition before the system even hits the market. I am glad I got my pre-order in for the Ps4 system. It is quite obvious that the majority of gamers believe that the Ps4 system is the best next generation gaming system to get.

  30. CarlB:

    Roca brought up the suggestion that Microsoft would sell the division to Sony with his quoted article, I brought up the suggestion that Sony couldn’t even make a profit off of the related businesses it had already with the article I quoted. I’m not “taking credit” for it, I just brought up the quote in response to a quote.

  31. Roca.:

    Sony Teases new PS4 exclusive: When Worlds Collide

    https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/354624056777125889

  32. greenLanternfan:

    I’m sure we’ll see more of that title at Gamescom. Can’t wait!

    The Last of Us exceeded 3.4 million units.

    “Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed today that the global sales of PS3 exclusive ‘The Last of Us’ has exceeded 3.4 million units as of July 3rd. This sales figure was achieved in less than 3 weeks since the global launch on June 14, 2013.”

    http://theslanted.com/2013/07/7630/sony-confirms-the-last-of-us-sales-pass-3-4-million-fastest-selling-ps3-title-of-2013/

    That’s impressing for a new title.

    Good job, Naughty Dog. You deserved it

  33. Roca.:

    I’m sure Godless will ignore my post about the PS4/XB1 pre-orders.

  34. Godless:

    Roca

    I am fully aware of Sonys pre order lead, and did acknowledge it in my own post.

    I then went on to follow it with
    “but I can see MS bulling back to be much closer by time of launch.(even if it’s just because PS4s are sold out)”

    reason for this bit is because the PS4 has done so well that it is selling out. This clearly gives the XB1 some breathing space, as it can now spend the next 5 months catching up.

  35. greenLanternfan:

    Godless, do you honestly believe the XB1 will catch up in 5 months?

  36. oldschool1987:

    Xbox couldn’t even keep its year lead this gen. I doubt they could play catch up.

  37. twilight:

    Godless,
    Xbox One is not going to catch up with Ps4 in this time. There is just too much going against the Xbox One. The price of the system is high and Microsoft’s initial policies and attitude towards gamers has really tarnished Microsoft right now.

  38. Godless:

    OK in the 1 month since E3 pre-orders of PS4 are 4 times that of XB1

    Now IF the PS4 has sold out, and the XB1 can sell at a steady rate for the next 5 months then it has more than enough time to catch up simply because PS4 numbers will be static.

    Where the hell did you guys go to school FFS

  39. phranctoast:

    What makes you think MS allocated the same amount as Sony to begin with?

    Yes, some places purposely kept their preorders low to screw MS, but it’s also been said that MS has been having trouble manufacturing for launch.

    However, they only have a 20 country launch.

    It’ll be interesting.

    If Sony initially takes NA, I see MS having a crazy uphill battle on their hands.

  40. Godless:

    ^ Agreed

  41. CarlB:

    “I see MS having a crazy uphill battle on their hands.”

    No more than Sony had when launching the PS3.

  42. phranctoast:

    But but but Sony. Lol.

  43. CarlB:

    Seemed to be a legitimate precedent.
    Unless you are incapable of logical reasoning. Lol.

  44. phranctoast:

    Not really. Sony still didn’t take NA (the part of my sentence before the comma that you edited out). If MS does not take NA their uphill battle would be in a completely different category of fucked. How’s that for “logical reasoning”? Lmao!

  45. CarlB:

    Microsoft had a ~10M unit lead that took Sony most of the gen to catch up with. I don’t see them having any greater of a problem than Sony did, even if they are slightly behind Sony in NA near launch, especially considering they are willing to adjust to the market before launching instead of after launching. I see no “logical reasoning” in deluding one’s self to believe they have a harder battle with xB1 than Sony did with PS3. Unless you’ve also deluded yourself into believing they will be ~10M behind out the gate, in which case, at best, you have “delusional reasoning”. LMAO! “!”

  46. phranctoast:

    Without NA the XBONE is doomed. MS sells like shit everywhere else. Only selling in 20 countries doesn’t help their case at all too.

    If Sony takes NA early where will MS sell to? They don’t have Europe or Japan to turn things around for them.

    Quite different than the PS3.

    Of course. I don’t even know why I gave you a logical reply when all your doing is trolling anyway.

  47. CarlB:

    First of all, even if xB1 doesn’t “take” NA, it doesn’t mean xB1 is “doomed”. It can still do quite well even if it doesn’t outsell PS4.

    Not that different at all, unless you happen to be wearing fanboy blinders.

  48. phranctoast:

    “Not that different at all, unless you happen to be wearing fanboy blinders.”

    Says the troll bringing up irrelevant points that he can’t prove.
    You’re as useful here as tits on a bull.

  49. CarlB:

    No worse than you phranc.
    Cheers.

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