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Sega hasn’t had a home console in two decades — yet some executives are still having trouble letting it go. In a roundtable conservation as part of Microsoft’s Alumni Network YouTube channel, former Xbox executives Peter Moore, Robbie Bach, and Ed Fries as well as current 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross joined former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime for a conversation about the early history of Xbox. Moore, who was also once a key executive at Sega, drew a link between Xbox and Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast. And he also reminded everyone that he blames Sony for putting the final nails in Dreamcast’s coffin.
“The Dreamcast was ahead of its time, and it sadly didn’t quite make it in the face of the impending PlayStation FUDing — fear, uncertainty, and doubt — that came along,” said Moore. “And [Sony] did it brilliantly.”
FUD is a more common term in marketing today, and it’s something that most companies wield against one another. An example in the console space is exclusive software or technology that you might otherwise miss out on. The goal is to make you feel fear, uncertainty, or doubt about choosing a competitor’s product. And it is something that the Wikipedia entry strongly associates with Microsoft’s software business in the 1990s.
Sony, however, is also excellent at the technique of generating a fear of missing its products. That is one of the reasons the company spends so much money on third-party exclusives like Deathloop, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI.
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Moore still sees Dreamcast in today’s consoles
For his part, Moore recognizes that Sony is a savvy business with cutthroat marketing, but he also still holds a bit of a grudge.
“It’s only 20-odd years ago, and I’m still angry,” joked Moore.
But while Sega lost its footing with Dreamcast and Sony was more than happy to push it out of the way, Moore still sees its lineage alive today in the Xbox. Moore eventually went on to work for Microsoft’s gaming division. And he explained that part of that was keeping the dream of connected, online social gaming alive.
“As the Dreamcast unfortunately faded into the sunset, the baton was passed to Xbox,” said Moore. “As we started to take off with Xbox Live and believed in this idea of gaming together online, there’s still a little bit of a legacy of the Sega Dreamcast in there somewhere.”