WinBreak Star Light: Interviews with Community Leaders

ANOTHER new segment. WinBreak Star Light. Shining a little bit of star light from community leaders. Their words, their wisdom… shared with you! Star Light will allow me to do a similar segment to “Better Know a Gamer” – however, the questions will often be more targetted to this individual. Better Know a Gamer will often be a form letter set of questions, where Star Light allows me to speak with community leaders from the Xbox 360 gaming community, or prominent members of the video game industry, and ask them very specific questions.

I think you’ll enjoy these, and I will post them as often as possible, much like the Better Know a Gamer!

Xbox Originals expanded: Burnout 3 Takedown

Burnout 3 Takedown is scheduled to hit the American marketplace Monday, January 14th. Another exciting addition to the catalog, and at least a sign of life that Microsoft wil continue to add to the Xbox Originals.

Stay tuned, I will be providing a larger list of upcoming Xbox Originals in the near future.

Coming Soon: "Better Know a Gamer…"

You don’t know when it’s going to happen, or who it’s going to happen to. Better yet, you don’t have any clue what my criteria for selection will be – or if there even is any! Trixie has her Gamer Spotlights, Unscripted 360 has the Showcase – and I’m bringing you yet another gamer off the street segment: WinBreak.com’s Better Know a Gamer.

The BKAG (bee-cag) segments will be extremely brief interviews conducted to highlight members of online communities who may not otherwise be interviewed. These are not meant to be the gigantic interviews I hope to conduct throughout the year with recognizable faces, but really just a way to pick somone who may be pretty much unknown via our “Super Secret Selection System” and learn about one more of the ten million users on Xbox Live.

There will only be a very short and fairly standard set of questions for each candidate, but I hope to really do a lot of them! If you want to nominate yourself or someone you know as a potential candidate for Better Know a Gamer, please use the contact page. There is no shame in nominating yourself, and we don’t need long drawn out nomniation letters – we’re very accepting and friendly around here! Just give us a gamertag, and maybe an email address (and if you really want, a reason “why!”) and we’ll take care of the rest!

Keep your eyes peeled and watch your inboxes (on Xbox Live, Xbox.com forums, your email accounts, your various other web forums – you never know HOW I’m going to contact you!!), because VERY SOON, your name may pop up in our Super Secret Selection System for: Better Know a Gamer!

2008: better or worse year? Clearing contradictions from MS


(picture of MS staff setting up for CES keynote, from MajorNelson’s flickr)

During the CES Keynote speech delivered by Bill Gates, Mr. Gates had mentioned that video games were “on track” to be the “best year ever in the United States” (not just Xbox 360 contrary to other articles). “Video games” are poised to have a great year – that’s exactly what Bill Gates said to us literally 5 hours ago.

Well, MSNBC (a joint Microsoft – NBC Universal venture) reported, on the same day, that the industry may actually slow in 2008. The article is actually from Reuters, using data from CEA, but it’s an interesting contradiction. So which is it?

Well, Gates’ statement, when in context, suggest that the video game industry as a whole will do well. Not necessarily the console and hardware end of things. While the title of the MSNBC article suggests that “Game industry growth may slow in 2008” they are not contradicting what gates said. The MSNBC article, once broken down, essentially states that console/hardware sales are all expected to drop, while games/software is expected to pick up a great deal.

The article states that industry hardware sales were “$6.6 billion in 2007, but are anticipated to shrink to $6.4 billion in 2008.” Where, software on the other, is expected to see “…’a 26 percent increase in sales over 2007,’ said CEA spokeswoman Jennifer Bemisderfer. Software sales are expected to rise to $11.5 billion in 2008, up from $9.1 billion in 2007.” According to the article, software sales rose 7.6 percent between 2006 and 2007 – so a 26 percent increase is going to be absolutely gigantic.

Expect to see this data referenced throughout the year, and don’t let anyone blur those details and spin this article their way to try and trick you! Keep your guard up!