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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.

Category: E3 2008
October 21, 2008 at 7:39 AM

Games news roundup: E3 making a comeback; Xbox Live Primetime delayed to spring; more

Rumor has it that the Entertainment Software Association, which produces the E3 video game conference, will make an announcement today about the future of the event. Once a sprawling, raucous, free-wheeling event for fans, media and games industry insiders, E3 was dramatically scaled back each of the last two years and became less relevant. The E3 changes left an opening for shows such as the Penny Arcade Expo, held in Seattle, to fill the void for games fans. The new old E3 could have as many as 40,000 people, according to an anonymous source quoted by Newsweek’s Level Up blog.

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July 16, 2008 at 5:53 PM

E3: It takes all kinds in the games industry

LOS ANGELES — I got an email yesterday from Bill Dugan of Torpex Games, a collection of video game industry vets who are bootstrapping it in the growing downloadable games market. He had good news: Their game, Schizoid, shipped last week.

As I head home from the E3 Media and Business Summit, Dugan’s success was a reminder that the games industry is not all about the blockbuster titles and multi-million dollar marketing extravaganzas like this one.

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July 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM

E3: Sony press conference

LOS ANGELES — Sony’s press conference, hot on the heels of Nintendo’s and a long, smoggy cab ride away, is rolling.

Jack Tretton, top dog at Sony in the U.S., started with some history. Fifteen years ago this week, executives at Sony gave the green light to the original PlayStation. The company was ahead of the technology curve then, introducing gamers to CDs, Tretton said. It’s successor, PlayStation 2, was built with a 10-year plan in mind, and has now sold some 140 million units.

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July 15, 2008 at 9:00 AM

E3: Nintendo press conference

LOS ANGELES — Nintendo has gathered another big crowd of media and game-industry partners inside the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard this morning for its E3 press conference.

Here are some of the questions hanging over Nintendo, the breakout success story of the current-generation console competition:

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July 15, 2008 at 7:44 AM

Morning news roundup

LOS ANGELES — I’ll be covering the E3 press conferences of Nintendo and Sony – Microsoft’s competitors in the game console business – beginning this morning at 9 and 11:30 a.m., respectively. Meanwhile, here’s today’s story summarizing Microsoft’s games and entertainment announcements from Monday. You can see all of my posts from E3 here.

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July 14, 2008 at 10:29 PM

E3: The European campaign

Too often, we focus on the video game (and Internet search) competition in the U.S., to the exclusion of the rest of the world. But on the games front, the battle for Europe during the current console generation is more interesting and perhaps more up for grabs than in the U.S.

And if Microsoft Xbox boss Don Mattrick wants to back up the claim he made today — that “Xbox 360 will sell more consoles worldwide this generation than PlayStation 3” — he’ll have to win in Europe.

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July 14, 2008 at 2:05 PM

E3: Microsoft strikes up the bands as more musicians dive in to video games

LOS ANGELES — While players are still flocking to games with guns and swords, it’s the axe that has been the surprise weapon of choice. That would be the electric guitar in “Guitar Hero,” which has taken the games world by storm in recent years. As the popularity of music games has skyrocketed, more musicians are getting into the act and seeing video games as an important distribution channel, as illustrated in several announcements from Microsoft and its partners today.

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July 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM

E3: Microsoft partnering with Netflix, NBC, others to challenge as top video destination

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft is spending a major chunk of its press conference at the video game industry’s big annual conference here describing new television and video distribution deals for the Xbox Live network, which has more than 12 million members.

The company is distributing television shows from NBC, movies from Universal Studios, and in probably the biggest piece of news: adding a huge library of movies through Netflix.

Speculation about whether Microsoft would do a deal with Netflix has swirled since at least March of last year, when Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and chief executive of the DVD-by-mail video-rental service, joined Microsoft’s board of directors.

The details of the partnership and how Xbox Live subscribers will get access to the Netflix library weren’t fully fleshed out. I’ll update when I learn more.

See this post for more from Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

Update, 12:59 p.m.: The partnership will allow consumers to “instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system,” according to a more detailed statement from Microsoft.

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July 14, 2008 at 10:29 AM

E3: Microsoft press conference

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…

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