J. Allard, de Xbox man with a plan, licht zijn masterplan toe in een interview met CVG. Veel mensen denken dat de Xbox gaat falen omdat Microsoft in de console markt geen ervaring heeft. Dat is waar, maar wat ze wel degelijk doen is kijken naar andermans fouten. Twee voorbeelden zijn de look&feel van games en de release, afgekeken van Nintendo en Sony:CVG: It's interesting that you've got such strong feelings about Nintendo games - what do you think you've actually learnt from Nintendo games that have been translated into the games that are on your stand? Allard: Well, the visual look, when you go for a particular demographic and you say, "We're going to go for younger kids and more cartoon-like games", I think you can have a consistent visual style and I think that's very appealing in the younger demographic. With our focus being on the older demographic initially, and that's very, very broad, we won't have a visually consistent style. It's just impossible, so I think the number one lesson we take away from Nintendo, and the history that Nintendo's had, is gameplay. We've been very, very focussed on gameplay and one thing that I'm happy about is because I did test the products on our showfloor - our gameplay's very strong. Even the button configurations across the games that we're showing before… All the guidelines are consistent across third and first party games. So, I watch gamers walk up to the systems and they can enjoy the games immediately, and they can get into the games immediately. So I feel that that's probably the strongest take-away from Nintendo's great history; that it's all about gameplay. It's all about gameplay fundamentally.

[...] (over het aantal Xboxen die op dag een beschikbaar zullen zijn)

Allard: Oh we'll hit it. We'll be in that window. We think that's the window you need to be in to be big enough, but the more important number is what happens on week two, week three, week four, week five. The number one the most important thing you can't do is to leave a retailer with empty shelves in November, December and give them the answer, "Come back in March." That's not what they want to do. And it's not just the hardware, it's the software, so we talk about 12 to 20 titles on day one, but what we'd like to do is have 12 to 15-ish titles on day one and then three or four a week for the rest of that holiday season, so there's something the industry can get excited about, so that ads aren't all colliding against each other and maybe we have a hit title every single week to keep that momentum going, to get gamers going back into retail. You know the attach rates last holiday were terrible? CVG: It's interesting you're talking about the way that hardware was handled. You're obviously talking about PlayStation 2, right? This is the first showing where Microsoft has openly attacked Sony, to actually say, "Sony did it wrong, we will do it right." This is the first time it's happened, really, in public. Allard: We're not attacking Sony at all. It's a 25 year-old industry - we're trying to learn from all the mistakes. So, you know, not picking on anybody, let's talk about Mattel and Intellivision. We learned from them. The Intellivision Voice Module - you remember that? Developers don't support alternative peripherals. Never have done. 64DD, 32X, Sega CD, go down the list; they've never had a mass appeal for gamers, or developer support. That's why we put the hard disk in the box, that's why we put the Internet in the box. It was that history. So a launch that is very recent history, with Sony, where we learned a lesson from the industry and we're trying to take that forward; we're not attacking them. Launching a console is the hardest thing I will ever do. It's the hardest thing most of us will ever do. We're humbled by the challenge. Humbled. And being the newcomers we have to learn from the mistakes of the industry and try to gain from the wisdom, and look at the great things that have happened in the industry and try to learn from it so we can have a successful launch. You know, are we so arrogant to say that we're not going to make a mistake? No way.

In principe zijn ze dus goed voorbereid, maar de praktijk is altijd lastiger. Vooral Japan kan nog eens hevig tegenstribbelen tegen de gemene Amerikanen.

J Allard interview