XBOX 360 Anyone who has tried video gaming knows how entertaining and challenging it can be. What might not be known is that the total video game market is projected to be $111 billion for 2015. It is no wonder why companies such as Microsoft channel a lot of energy into the design and manufacture of video gaming consoles to satisfy that market. Microsoft’s first offering was the Xbox in 2001 followed by the Xbox 360 in 2005, which has been touted to be the most influential product in the market because of its emphasis on digital media and online and multiplayer gaming. How did this trail-blazing product come into being? Four years after the introduction of Xbox, Microsoft needed to quickly design, develop, and produce a new product. Sony’s PlayStation 2 was dominating the video game market, and Microsoft needed a new product to compete with the impending release of PlayStation 3. Developing such a product is a project of massive proportions. The project consisted of four phases: (1) design, (2) analysis, (3) development, and (4) launch. The result was Xbox 360. Design The design of the Xbox 360 was a collaborative effort between Microsoft and many other firms, including Astro Studios in San Francisco, which designed the overall console and controller; IBM, which designed the processor chip; ATI, which designed the graphics chip; and a host of game design firms to develop games for the new product. A key element of the new product was the built-in Internet access that allowed gamers to access online games, buy game add-ons, and access 7 Building on the success of Xbox 360, Xbox One was launched in 2013. Here, a gamer tries the Xbox One console at the Violin Factory in south London, ahead of its release in November. Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/AP Images 258 PART 1 PROCESS MANAGEMENT LEARNING GOALS After reading this chapter, you should be able to: ❶ Explain the major activities associated with defining and organizing a project. ❷ Describe the procedure for constructing a project network. ❸ Develop the schedule of a project. ❹ Analyze cost–time trade-offs in a project network. ❺ Assess the risk of missing a project deadline. ❻ Identify the options available to monitor and control projects. multiplayer games developed exclusively for Xbox 360. Microsoft also included its primary manufacturers, Flextronics and Wistron, in the design process to optimize the production and assembly of the more than 1,000 parts contained in an Xbox 360.
Analysis Getting an estimate of future sales for a new product is always difficult; however, in this case, the historic patterns for PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and Xbox were useful. Analysts found that the peak year for a PlayStation product was 4 years after its introduction and that the life cycle for those products is about 11 years. This information provided a basis for estimating the sales potential of Xbox 360, although actual sales may be limited due to supply constraints. Nonetheless, Microsoft realized that the potential was there to open a new generation of game consoles well ahead of the market.
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