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Xbox Creator Resigns And Microsoft Slashes Game Console Prices

Seamus Blackley, co-creator of Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, resigned Monday, April 22, 2002, less than a week after the company slashed prices on the game console in Europe and Australia. REUTERS reported Blackley intends to launch a new game-industry startup and says his resignation was not related to Xbox's sluggish sales. But just six weeks after its debut, Microsoft has reduced prices for the Xbox game console in Europe and Australia. Effective April 26, 2002, the Xbox will sell in Europe for 299 euros (US$266) or 199 pounds (US$288), and in Australia for A$399 (US$215). This puts the console in the same range as its chief competitor, Sony's Playstation2. The Xbox was originally priced at 479 euros/300 pounds and A$650, respectively. "The new prices in Europe and Australia make Xbox more accessible to a broader set of gamers, consistent with our long-term strategy to build an ecosystem around Xbox where our retail partners, third-party game publishers and gamers all thrive,'' said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer. Not to be outdone, Nintendo has announced that its GameCube will debut in Europe on May 3, 2002, carrying a price of 199 euros (US$177), 100 euros less than the Xbox.

All three of the new gaming consoles those magical devices that have changed the face of gaming yet again have now been released. John Edgar Park sees where the chips are falling.