The Xbox 360 is doing great, and Microsoft says it hasn’t forgotten who made that happen.
Kinect may be selling better than anyone – including Microsoft – expected, but anyone concerned that Microsoft will sideline hardcore games in favor of mini-game collections and shovelware may be worrying over nothing. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, David Dennis, PR manager for the Xbox 360 stressed that it has no intention of turning its back on its core audience.
Dennis said that the company was very aware of the role that the core audience had played in the 360’s success. Microsoft was obviously excited about the success of Kinect, he continued, but had no intention of stopping production of core games like Halo and Gears of War.
Microsoft was also committed to improving the Xbox Live experience, Dennis said, both with things that users could see – like changes to how the service handled friends lists – and structural changes that they couldn’t. A lot of the most recent improvements had been behind the scenes, he explained, like getting the service ready for the onslaught of activity that followed the release of Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Of course, even despite Microsoft’s assertions, not every every Xbox 360 owner will be convinced that core games won’t become a secondary priority. But regardless of what Microsoft may say, the numbers make supporting the core audience pretty much a given.
With an install base of 50 million consoles, and at most eight million Kinect users, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Microsoft to snub nearly 85% of its audience, and especially not to court a pool of users who tend to buy fewer games anyway. Even as Kinect becomes more common, there’s still plenty of money to be made from core games, and it’s very unlikely that Microsoft, or any other publisher for that matter, is going to turn its back on that.