Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live Integration Part of a Managed Portfolio

Apr 23, 2010
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Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is doing a pretty good job of maintaining itself in the market, even if it is still months away before a launch. But, with videos like the one we saw earlier today, showcasing the Office Hub, how could it not be? This time around we don't have a video, but we do have some more information pertaining to the Xbox LIVE experience you should expect this holiday season on your handset.

Andre Vrignaud is Microsoft's Director of Games Platform Strategy, and he has recently illuminated some details about how the game selection is going to take place in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. First and foremost, he wants to make sure that people understand that the system is going to work much in the same way that the system works for the Xbox LIVE Arcade titles selection process. The company has a managed portfolio, and they want to make sure that they do not saturate the market, and therefore negatively impact the products therein.

Microsoft sees how the mobile gaming industry is evolving, and they've noticed that the one, most obvious problem is the "race to zero." This means that there are so many mixed-bag experiences in any one particular market, all of them at varying prices, that it becomes hard for any one title, no matter how great it is, to stand out amongst the over-sized crowd. We imagine ranking systems can do some good for sifting out the lower-quality titles, but when ranked titles go head-to-head, we concur that usually the free version will more than likely win out.

Having too many, mixed quality titles available in any one marketplace just minimizes the overall quality of that marketplace, and Microsoft wants to do everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen. And the way they are going to make sure it doesn't, is to cultivate a steadily growing portfolio of titles that are released at regular intervals, much the same way they do with the games released through the Xbox LIVE Arcade.

So, what does this mean for games developed for Windows Phone 7? There will be high quality titles, developed by first party publishers as well as third-party, that feature Xbox LIVE integration (which means Achivements, etcetera), that are released in a timely fashion, and that are priced aggressively for the ecosystem. On top of that, there will be other third-party publishers that release games for Windows Phone 7 that don't take part of the Xbox LIVE integration. So, in the face of Apple's upcoming Game Center (which is going to have months and months of up-time before Windows Phone 7 even hits the market), how do you think this strategy fares?

[via WMPower User]


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