Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment RevolutionThe video game industry is expected to double in sales over the next five years. It has already eclipsed motion pictures to become one of the largest and fastest growing markets in ...
markets in history and a lamplight illuminating where the future of entertainment is headed. In an effort to grab a chunk of that market, Microsoft—an absolute newcomer to the gaming industry—has put billions of dollars on the line in a gamble to build the fastest, most mature, most advanced video game console ever: the Xbox. Is this new Microsoft venture just another experiment that, like WebTV, was launched to much fanfare but will be quickly forgotten? Or will it become the next Windows, finding its way into the homes and lives of millions of people around the world?
In Opening the Xbox, award-winning journalist and gaming-industry expert Dean Takahashi guides you deep into the amazing story of this much-anticipated game console. Through exclusive interviews with top executives at Microsoft, exhaustive research, and a penetrating investigation, he unveils the tumultuous story behind the development of the project and how it could change the entertainment industry forever. Inside, you'll discover that what started as Project Midway, spearheaded by Jonathan "Seamus" Blackley and three of his renegade cohorts, turned into Xbox—a multibillion-dollar enterprise that became Microsoft's largest internal startup ever and a personal pet project of Bill Gates. The colorful infighting, the cutthroat tactics used to lure partners, and the race to vanquish bitter rivals Sony and Nintendo are all laid bare in this unvarnished, high-tech drama. It's a story like no other, full of heroes and villains, plot twists and intrigue—all before the backdrop of Microsoft's grand ambition to move from the office into the living room.
If you're like the millions of gamers, investors, and business spectators who anxiously anticipated the Xbox, then you don't want to miss the explosive, exclusive, behind-the-scenes story in Opening the Xbox. "I had not thought it possible to write an entire book on a single game console. Takahashi has done it and done it well. Opening the Xbox is consistently interesting and very personable. It's also a book that should ruffle a few egos, including my own." —Steven L. Kent, author, The Ultimate History of Video Games
"Opening the Xbox provides fascinating insights about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering at Microsoft. Takahashi's fly-on-the-wall style of writing is complemented by insightful analysis of the gaming industry and interesting vignettes about the personal lives of the Xbox creators. This book perfectly intertwines a compelling business story with human drama." —Geoff Keighley, editor in chief, GameSlice
"Thoroughly researched, this book exposes the guts of the video game industry through the prism of Microsoft. Takahashi gives us an engrossing glimpse of an industry that's at once juvenile and ruthlessly systematic in its manufacturing of digital fun." —Alex Pham, staff writer, Los Angeles Times
"Takahashi has meticulously researched this book. It's required reading for anyone interested in the next-generation console race." —Tom Russo, director of program development, G4 Media
"Reads like The Soul of a New Machine for the new millennium. Dean provides insights into the people and the motivation behind Microsoft's high-stakes bid to break into the home-entertainment market. And, he doesn't miss a detail." —Dawn C. Chmielewski, staff writer, San Jose Mercury News