Microsoft goes Mii Too on Virtual Worlds
Yesterday Microsoft went head on with rival Sony at the Tokyo Game Show as they presented their new immersive 3D Xbox experience, We've been seeing reports and snapshots of Soný's Playstation Home for a while now, but actual deployment has been delayed several times.
Sony Corp.'s twice delayed online "Home" virtual world for the PlayStation 3 console will be available sometime later this year, while U.S. software maker Microsoft Corp., which competes with its Xbox 360, is starting "New Xbox Experience" worldwide Nov. 19. [International Herald Tribune]
Microsoft promised to be more varied as a gateway to various entertainment, such as watching movies, going to virtual parties and sharing your collection of photos.
"Our goal is to make the Xbox experience more visual, easier to use, more fun to use and more social," he [Shappert] said in an interview at a nearby hotel. "We focused a lot on friends and other experiences outside just playing games."[International Herald Tribune]
What the International Herald Tribune didn't write is that it wasn't exactly Sony that Microsoft was taking on, they were on a collision course with Nintendo's Wii experience.
The moment MTV News revealed Microsoft was working on a Mii-like system called Avatars, accusations of copying Nintendo started flying.
That reaction only intensified when the rumors became fact at this year’s E3. Microsoft expected this reaction. At least, that’s what they told me while showing the “New Xbox Experience,” a complete dashboard revamp coming later this year.
“I remember the CES right after the Wii launched and all the [gaming] editors were asking, ‘When are you guys going to do your version of the Miis?,” Xbox director of marketing Albert Penello told MTV Multiplayer in a hotel suite interview two weeks ago. “I remember going, ‘You guys are going to slaughter us in the press if we ever do it.’ [lMTV]
Read the full story in MTV's Microsoft: Our Mii-Like Avatars Borrow From ‘World of Warcraft,’ Could Connect With ‘Gears of War’ .
Actually it's quite funny. I remember someone at Microsoft said (very recently): "Nah, social worlds don't work. No money to be made there". Remember who it was?
It was Microsoft's Craig Mundie who spoke at the MIT Emtech summit last month.
"Microsoft's Craig Mundie has dismissed the potential of "synthetic virtual worlds" like Second Life, saying that the potential for immersive environments will be likely realized through 3D tools that capture and model the real world.
Read the full story at MindBlizzard: "Microsoft: 3D Future will be Photosynth ". It isn't the first time Microsoft says something doesn't have any real future, yet buys in big a short while later on to make up for their initial misinterpretation of the trends.