Midway Plans to Drop Xbox Support

By Frank Ling, GN Senior Writer

Midway’s executives gave their take to investors as to which present gen game consoles the company expects to continue to support. In light of the successful sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the head brass believes that the original Xbox’s days are numbered. Midway said in a conference call to shareholders that, “Clearly, Microsoft has shifted onto the 360. Xbox software sales, month over month, continue to drop pretty quickly."

Microsoft, in a statement made in January of this year, quickly denied rumors of any plans to drop support of the original Xbox. "We remain very supportive of the Xbox platform and there have been no announcements about plans to cease or alter production.” While the Big M’s commitment to the original Xbox was comforting to software developers, the writing on the wall indicated that living in the shadow of the 360 was not a formula for continued success. Midway executives further noted, "Xbox is going to be the platform that, after the holidays, it’s certainly going to be pretty difficult to certainly sell any new games for."

In as far as who Midway will continue to support in current gen titles, the answer was clear—Sony’s PS2 and Nintendo’s GameCube. Midway executives remarked, “PlayStation 2 continues to perform very. [The] PlayStation 2 should be around… Sony has a very good history of supporting their platforms long after the new machines come, and Nintendo has a pretty good history there as well."

Midway expressed that current gen support is not their primary interest, but only another aspect of running a successful gaming business. "The most important thrust of our product strategy… is our plan to gain market share in the next console cycle by releasing high potential, high quality and ambitious games that leverage industry trends and have broad mass market appeal."

Midway, in expressing their decision to move away from original Xbox software development support, may be one of many game companies who are also considering similar moves to drop backing of Microsoft’s first entry into the game console market. If others follow in this manner, the Xbox may be heading for that video game console retirement home in the sky, well ahead of the PS2 and GameCube.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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