Xbox 360 is about to replace Sony's PlayStation as the world's favourite games platform, according to Bill Gates.
The man who built Microsoft into the giant it is today went on record last week with his plans to overtake Sony in the games console race.
"Our goal in the last generation was to be in the game," said Gates in a presentation to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, "and we came out of this round a strong number two. Now people are looking at Microsoft and Sony at a pretty much equal basis."
Microsoft only entered the console market in 2001 with the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is expected to beat both Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Revolution (which, interestingly, was not even mentioned by Gates as a legitimate competitor) to the living room. It will be unveiled during a MTV special on May 12/13 and should be on sale later this year.
Gates also discussed Xbox 360's multimedia capabilities and offered a glimpse into the console's start menu. "When you use Xenon you'll see a menu that lets you get photos, TV, music and all those different things," he said.
He also mentioned that your Xbox Live account would be automatically linked to your system startup, letting you instantly see if any of your friends are online and chat with them straight away.
Finally, more interesting info straight from the Gates: in an interview with tech weblog Engadget he reiterated Microsoft's intentions to avoid the portable gaming market, but suggested that a Nokia N-Gage-style gaming phone could be on the cards.
"I think you'll see us do flavours of the phone that are better for gaming and have an affinity to PC gaming and Xenon gaming," he said. "We see a generation of phones coming that really can do this without too much compromising being available in the two to four year time frame."
And in case you were wondering, he does have a PSP - compliments of PlayStation godfather Ken Kutaragi. "He sent me one, so that was nice," said Gates. "I'm not sure if he'd have done the same with PS3, though."
No, probably not. We're gearing up for the full unveiling of the Xbox 360 at E3 in a couple of weeks and of course a first glimpse of PS3 and Revolution. Stick with us for the latest.
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