Xbox 360 to target non-hardcore gamers

MGSMicrosoft has come to a realization: the gaming platform is not what it used to be. With Nintendo and Sony succeeding in attracting nontraditional gamers with their more family-friendly titles and peripheral-based games, Microsoft  is now trying to explore previously-unchartered territories. Microsoft Game Studios (MGS) general manager Shane Kim reveals that Microsoft is now trying to go beyond the mainstream, hardcore gamer market that has made Xbox 360 so successful. “The positioning of the platform is very different now. We were so paranoid that people knew the Xbox was a hardcore gaming machine in the first generation that we really alienated, or closed off, a lot of our opportunity,” says Kim.

Viva PinataKim points out that the release of Viva Pinata is the start of steering away from the traditional audience. MGS – publisher of popular titles such as Halo 2, Fable, Forza Motorsport, Kameo, and Perfect Dark Zero – has decided to create Viva Pinata in hopes of attracting a broader audience and of getting the message across to retailers, third parties, customers and journalists that Microsoft is dead serious about reaching the Pokemon/Harvest Moon-type of gamers. In lieu of MGS’s plan of expanding their market reach, the company decided to focus on content that will not only appeal to US gamers but to the European market as well. As he pointed out, “We have to be careful about taking too much of a US-centric view of content. Buzz, Singstar, and those other games aren’t really big in the US. But in Europe, which is a very important market for us in this generation, those kinds of titles and peripherals that go along with them, are very important.”

To all hardcore gamers, don’t fret though. Kim assures that MGS will not completely shed its hardcore image. “I don’t think we want to lose the relationship with hardcore gaming — I don’t think that will happen. I think we can do this [broadening of the market] without losing the hardcore gamer.”

MGSMicrosoft has come to a realization: the gaming platform is not what it used to be. With Nintendo and Sony succeeding in attracting nontraditional gamers with their more family-friendly titles and peripheral-based games, Microsoft  is now trying to explore previously-unchartered territories. Microsoft Game Studios (MGS) general manager Shane Kim reveals that Microsoft is now trying to go beyond the mainstream, hardcore gamer market that has made Xbox 360 so successful. “The positioning of the platform is very different now. We were so paranoid that people knew the Xbox was a hardcore gaming machine in the first generation that we really alienated, or closed off, a lot of our opportunity,” says Kim.

Viva PinataKim points out that the release of Viva Pinata is the start of steering away from the traditional audience. MGS – publisher of popular titles such as Halo 2, Fable, Forza Motorsport, Kameo, and Perfect Dark Zero – has decided to create Viva Pinata in hopes of attracting a broader audience and of getting the message across to retailers, third parties, customers and journalists that Microsoft is dead serious about reaching the Pokemon/Harvest Moon-type of gamers. In lieu of MGS’s plan of expanding their market reach, the company decided to focus on content that will not only appeal to US gamers but to the European market as well. As he pointed out, “We have to be careful about taking too much of a US-centric view of content. Buzz, Singstar, and those other games aren’t really big in the US. But in Europe, which is a very important market for us in this generation, those kinds of titles and peripherals that go along with them, are very important.”

To all hardcore gamers, don’t fret though. Kim assures that MGS will not completely shed its hardcore image. “I don’t think we want to lose the relationship with hardcore gaming — I don’t think that will happen. I think we can do this [broadening of the market] without losing the hardcore gamer.”

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