The only thing more brutal than Microsoft-Sony gamebox competition is South Park’s depiction of how brutal that competition is.
In the most recent episode, the folks producing the show have created a scene in which Bill Gates lectures a mortally wounded Steve Ballmer about the cutthroat nature of that rivalry. (If you click on that link, beware it’s pretty NSFW. The scene in question is at 7:47)
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Ballmer has just been stabbed in the chest by an assassin while Gates chats amiably with him. As Ballmer lies bleeding on the floor, Gates launches into a cold assessment of what’s needed from Microsoft in its Xbox-PlayStation duel.
Beyond the grim content, the scene is out of sync with the rest of the South Park universe in which Gates has already been shot point blank in the head by a general upset with the performance of Windows 98.
Here’s the exchange between Gates and Ballmer in the latest episode:
Gates: You know when I stepped down and left you in charge of the company, Steve, I knew there might be some challenges for you.
Ballmer: Yeah, well, nothing I can’t handle. (Assassin approaches behind Ballmer.) There might be some changes we need to make to our marketing but I’m optimistic
Ballmer: You know I think we’ll ultimately sell the number of units we want to.
Gates: You’re right, Steve, some changes do need to be made.
(Assassin stabs Ballmer in the chest. Blood spouts onto his face and shirt, and he falls gasping onto his back. Gates sits on the sofa with a glass of wine.)
Gates: Do you know what weakness is, Steve? Weakness is believing that competition is healthy. See, there was a time when Xboxes and PlayStations could both survive in this world, but that time’s done. It’s all headed to one device that people game on, watch TV on, socialize on. There’s only going to be one winner. I can’t have you idiots throwing away everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
(Gates walks out and speaks to two men in suits who are stading in the doorway.)
Gates: Clean that s*!t up.