Microsoft Targets the Mainstream with New Xbox 360 Strategy

Dennis Faas's picture

It's been a year and a half now since the Nintendo Wii launched and the little white console that could is showing no signs it's about to slow down. Competitor Microsoft, makers of the considerably successful Xbox 360, have decided the best way to match Nintendo's prowess in the marketplace is to simply mirror their strategy: rope in the casual gamer.

Nintendo's approach has been fairly simple: use easy-to-learn games, along with cutting-edge motion-sensitive technology, to convince people who wouldn't normally play video games that such activity can be accessible to the not-so-hardcore gamer. Though Microsoft isn't about to drastically change the way its system works (it won't be ditching that standard controller for a Wiimote), the company plans on adjusting the focus of its games in the near and distant future.

How so? According to reports, Microsoft will be pursuing a number of genres that break away from its traditional concern with blood 'n guts titles like Gears of War and Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Its plan of action includes using the Internet (and online service Xbox Live) to stream an ever-growing library of movies and TV titles to the media fan. The point? To make the Xbox 360 the center of a user's entertainment room.

Roping in the casual game fan will be a number of game show releases that promise to expand the console's limits beyond its rather traditional hardware. On the way will be '1 vs 100', based on a television game showed created by Endemol. It'll be joined by 'You're in the Movies', which gives players the chance to improvise their own scenes using a built-in camera. Finally, both Guitar Hero and Rock Band will be releasing new editions, each promising a full 'band' experience. (Source:

Along with its new games and media downloads, Microsoft has announced a partnership with Netflix, the online-based DVD rental company. That should lead to an absolute explosion of downloadable content, with insiders estimating that 10,000 films and TV shows could be on their way to Xbox Live. The downloads are an alternative to switching HD support from HD-DVD to Blu-ray; most speculators believe Microsoft will not make that shift, even after Toshiba's decision to can its format. (Source:

Is it the answer Microsoft has been looking for? Though it may not bring virtual/pseudo boxing or bowling into the average living room, it could reinvigorate a console many deemed reserved for the hardcore shooter fan.

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