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Xbox Games on Windows 8: More Gaming Goodness from Microsoft & Friends

So I work on the Xbox team at Microsoft. And I focus on the strategy and portfolio of games coming to Windows 8. Today is a good day because I’m finally able to share some of the details with you on this!

Here’s a quick rundown of the news:

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Match Made In Heaven: Netflix on the Xbox 360

Back in February, I titled a post “Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One.” True to my word, today I ordered an Xbox 360 following the latest announcement. I’m a huge fan of Netflix and have always had an interest in getting an Xbox 360 (even though I’m more of a PC gamer).

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Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One

NetflixLast week plenty of rumors were floating around about a potential Microsoft / Netflix partnership. The announcement was supposedly going to happen during the keynote address (by Xbox Live exec John Schappert) at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last Wednesday. The concept: make it so Netflix’s 7,000 available “Watch Instantly” movies would be viewed easily on your TV via the Xbox 360.

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Halo 3 Conquers Critics, Casual Gamers, & Wall Street

Halo 3The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has been running quite a few stories on the release of Halo 3, all of which seem to be extremely positive with titles like “Microsoft’s ‘Halo 3’ Game Meets Approval of Critics” and “Casual Gamer Takes a Turn At Halo 3 to Judge the Hype.” One of the articles cites Halo 3’s high score on Metacritic (an aggregator of reviews) and then speculates that the critics’ acclaim caused the boost to Microsoft’s shares yesterday (which rose 43 cents or 1.5%) and explained the nearly doubled volume of stock trading.

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Game Industry Worried: Gamers Giving It Up As They Grow Up

Mike Vorhaus is the managing director of the consulting and research firm Frank N. Magid Associates and is in charge of a fairly in-depth study of consumer trends in gaming. His latest work is that of profiling “lapsed” console gamers. Here’s what he found:

Guys, of course, are the core of the console-games market and are the basis of his study. Vorhaus refers to declining gamer activity as “cliffs” in the gamers life. The first group, 12-to-17-year-old boys, has 78% playing console games at least once a week. But when boys become men and enter the 18-to-34-year-old bracket, they fall off the first cliff. Those still playing console games weekly: 42%.

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A Wii Workout: When Videogames Hurt

Wii_1The Wall Street Journal (subscription not needed) has an interesting article out today describing the aches and pains of Wii players. For those who might have been hibernating this Fall, the Wii is the latest gaming console from Nintendo that was released just two days after Sony’s PlayStation 3.

The Wii does not try to compete on a technical level (i.e. game graphics, etc.). Instead, Nintendo is hoping to convert non-gamers with “intuitive game play.” The controller it comes with is a wireless, motion-sensitive wand-like device that gamers wave around in the air perhaps as a sword, gun, steering wheel, tennis racket, or whatever a particular game calls for. But apparently, this type of game play amounts to some fairly intense exertion. Reports are coming in of aching backs, sore shoulders, and something now called “Wii elbow.”

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