As Xbox boss prepares for life outside of Microsoft following the announcement of his retirement yesterday, the popular exec has claimed that the release of Natal later this year will provide Xbox 360 with a ‘midlife kicker’.
“Well, I think initially it presents a great opportunity for us on Xbox,” he told TechFlash. “If you think we have close to 40m consoles in the world, and every one of those consoles can work with Natal. So, there's a tremendous opportunity from a business perspective to produce a new experience for people without shipping a new console.
“That's sort of the Holy Grail in many ways of the console world is how do you ship completely new game experiences without actually forcing everybody to start over again, and I think Natal certainly presents that opportunity.
“So, for me it's a jumpstart catalyst. It's a midlife kicker for the 360, and it's an opportunity to really drive that business in a dramatic way.”
Furthermore, Back thinks that the true potential of Natal might not be felt until as long as three years after it hits the shelves – a timeframe that would see Xbox 360 into its ninth year.
“When I think about the broader impact, I think you're going to feel that over 12, 24, 36 months, because I think we'll do some great experiences out of the gate, and people will say, wow, that's really cool,” he added.
“Then the creative teams will really hit their stride, then the technology team will really hit its stride, and how it integrates with Live will get enhanced. Because it's software and services oriented, you've got three, four years of some really cool innovation that can happen.”