The music is thumping, Xbox-green lights flashing over a stage set up in the Los Angeles Convention Center. About 1,200 games industry press, armed with cameras, laptops and Internet connections, are taking seats and waiting to hear what Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business has in store.
Don Mattrick, the new senior vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, framed the fundamental question facing the games industry.
“Can we deliver to our fiercely loyal fans and at the same time continue to transform the industry by delivering to everyone?” he said. “Yes.”
Now the company is showing some of the upcoming titles, which Mattrick said will generate $500 million in projected sales and drive additional console sales. Right now, we’re watching a demonstration of “Fallout 3,” a gruesome first-person shooter set in a post-nuclear-attack Washington, D.C. It’s due out this fall.
Update, 10:54 a.m.: Microsoft is clearly putting its content for hard core gamers first. Following the “Fallout 3” trailer and demo, another game developer, Capcom, demonstrated “Resident Evil 5,” another installment in another violent, first-person shooting series. It’s coming out Friday, March 13, 2009, simultaneously in North America, Europe and Japan.
Update, 11:13 a.m.: Mattrick is back on stage and is pledging that Microsoft Xbox 360 will sell more consoles worldwide than Sony’s PlayStation 3 during the current console generation.
He touted Xbox Live, the online network for gaming and downloading videos and announced that there are now 12 million Live subscribers. Collectively, subscribers have spent more than $1 billion on Xbox Live content since Live was launched in November 2005.
Mattrick announced that Microsoft is partnering with NBC and Universal Studios to distribute movies and television shows through Xbox Live.
Update, 11:25 a.m. John Schappert, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, software and services, just announced an exclusive partnership with Netflix, allowing members who are already subscribers to Xbox Live subscribers to get access to an additional 10,000 titles through the Netflix library.