Microsoft hopeful of success with cross-platform gaming; Wii surges ahead in sales in Japan

Microsoft is hopeful of the success of its innovative Gaming platform, which brings together Xbox 360 and the PC. It is due for launch in May. They hope that the launch of the platform will give PC Gaming a boost in Japan and in turn mean better business for its console.

Gaming in Japan has been dominated by consoles, thanks to the pioneers in the field, Sony and Nintendo. Console Gaming is part of the history of Japan’s Gaming, which is bad news for Microsoft. Microsoft is synonymous with PCs, and hence, even their console has been performing poorly. The initial sales of Xbox 360 was actually poorer than its predecessor, the original XBOX.

Windows Live platform will make it possible for PC and Xbox 360 gamers to chat and sign on to both systems with a single username. Cross-platform Gaming is supported on a more advanced version which is to be included in Microsoft’s Gold account ($49.95 per year). Cross-platform Gaming will be allowed only between Xbox 360 and PCs running Windows Vista. Another of Microsoft’s marketing genious. Damn!

Shadowrun, from Microsoft’s Game Studios will be the first game in the platform. Scheduled for a launch in June, it is a first-person shooter (FPS). Several games are in the pipeline, assures MS.

Xbox 360 sales are increasing – good news for MS. However, they are weak in Japan, with Nintendo Wii grabbing the honours for highest sales figures.

Yes, you read it right, Wii is ahead of Sony PlayStation 3, and by miles.

Most experts had predicted that Wii will lose in the next-gen console wars, due to its relatively lower graphics processing power. They were so wrong – the weakness turned out to be a strength – low-end hardware translated into lowest prices amongst the console. And of course, there’s the innovative controls and games to utilise them.

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