Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 10, 2007 at 8:58 PM

E3: Microsoft introduces big red button

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — In a bid to expand the appeal of the Xbox 360, Jeff Bell, Microsoft corporate vice president, announced a new controller for the console. It’s designed to be easy to use and features fewer buttons than the standard Xbox 360 controller, including a big red one.

Four of these wireless controllers will come packaged with “Scene It?” a movie trivia game based on the DVD board game from Seattle’s Screenlife, which we profiled in 2002. The bundled game and controllers will sell for the same price as a regular Xbox 360 game.

This was the biggest news I’ve detected out of Microsoft’s E3 press conference so far. Peter Moore spent a lot of time recounting statistics about the Xbox 360. One number he didn’t share is the failure rate of the console, which was described last week as “unacceptable” in announcing an extended warranty program and non-specific engineering fixes that should eliminate the “general hardware failure”/ “red ring of death” that has upset a substantial number of customers.

So is the Big Button a direct rival to the Wii Remote from Nintendo? Not exactly. The “Big Button” pad isn’t motion sensitive. But Microsoft is clearly experimenting with a controller designed to be less off-putting to non-gamers. It’s a strategy that Nintendo has shown to be very successful, as the scarcity of Wii consoles on store shelves illustrates.

Comments | More in Games & entertainment, Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►