According to Phil Harrison, the vice president of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft, Microsoft Studios are now not just making games for the Xbox 360, but also for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
Giving a keynote speech at the London Games Conference yesterday he confirmed the division was now no longer just targeting Sony and Nintendo, but was also going after Google and Apple and their casual gaming empire.
"We are now really a multiplatform studio," he said. "We are not just building games for Xbox 360, we’re building experiences for Smartglass, we’re building dedicated games for Windows Phone 8 and for Windows 8."
He revealed Microsoft Studios have already shipped 30 titles developed in-house for Windows 8.
“We think this expands our competitive map. We’re no longer just competing with the traditional console companies, but our competitive landscape includes the likes of Google, the likes of Amazon, it includes obviously the likes of Apple.
"We think that’s great. We think it’s good for us, we think it’s good for the industry and we think it also moves us into this network generation more aggressively and with more determination. And this is in turn powered by the cloud, and this is another corporate investment that Microsoft is making the future of how technology and devices interact. We think of Microsoft as now being a devices and services company.
"There isn’t an organisation that embodies that strategy more precisely and concisely as Microsoft Studios inside the interactive entertainment business."
Microsoft has opened a new studio in London specifically focussed on tablet and smartphone games, Harrison said.
"It will not make retail products. It will be making products largely based on the Windows 8 platform and technologies. And it’s more about exploring new business models and pioneering new ways to play on devices that we think are going to be powering the future of our industry over the next five or ten years. We’re hiring from the console industry, the web 2.0 industry and from the online gaming industry."
Microsoft Studio published games include Hydro Thunder and Reckless Racing, but I cant help but feel Microsoft needs to bring their established franchises like Forza, Halo and Gears of War to Windows 8 tablets to really make an impact in the market.
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