Harrison on Piston and Shield: 'Hardware is a hard thing to do'

Harrison on Piston and Shield: 'Hardware is a hard thing to do'
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

January 10th 2013 at 3:29PM

Microsoft exec warns of the difficulties ahead for Nvidia and Steam

Speaking at a special press event in London today corporate vice president at Microsoft EMEA Phil Harrison warned of the difficult road ahead for companies launching new hardware.

Asked if Microsoft's UK studios, which includes new outfit Lift London, would support the wealth of new platforms including Nvidia's Shield and Valve's Piston 'Steam Box', Harrison warned that it requires many thousands of pounds and ‘very deep pockets’ if such platforms are to compete with the likes of Xbox, PlayStation and Wii.

“CES is always very interesting," said Harrison. "But entering the hardware business is a hard thing to do. You need to have deep pockets. Hardware can be successful but it’s rare to get new hardware to scale. I’m talking tens or hundreds of millions.

“It’s about having a supply chain and a distribution model, it takes thousands of people to make a reality.”

Harrison should know, having served senior hardware-related roles on both the Xbox and PlayStation brands.

2012 has seen a wealth of new platforms announced outsie of the established Microsoft-Sony-Nintendo-trio, including Ouya, Occulus Rift, GameStick, Piston and Shield.