Netflix movie streaming isn’t coming to Microsoft’s Xbox — at least not today, as previously rumoured — but a slew of homemade games will be. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft said it would open its Xbox Live Arcade casual gaming marketplace to whoever feels like creating games for its platform.
How will it work? Individuals can make “homebrew” games using Microsoft’s XNA coding platform, upload them, and have them peer-reviewed to check for “appropriateness” and copyright infringement. If they get through the process, they’ll be distributed via Xbox Live to some 10 million members. Microsoft (MSFT) says the system should be running by the end of the year, and that user-generated games will “quickly double” the amount of games available for the Xbox 360.
Perhaps, but quantity and quality are two very different goals. YouTube is successful because it’s easy — anyone with a webcam can upload a video to the Web. Creating a video game from scratch is a lot more difficult. Xbox Live has been open to indie game developers for a long time. So we’re not sure many more “community” members are waiting to suddenly pump out hundreds of new, original titles. Release.
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