Home Online Gaming: Xbox And Peter Jackson Team Up

Online Gaming: Xbox And Peter Jackson Team Up

Last week at X06,
an Xbox event in Barcelona, New Zealand movie director Peter Jackson announced a new
games development studio called Wingnut Interactive – an offshoot of his highly
successful movie production company Wingnut. The new venture will develop a “Halo series”
for the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. Full details haven’t emerged yet, but the games will have
a movie quality to them and be interactive. They will almost certainly have an online
component too. Not coincidentally, Peter Jackson is also producing the forthcoming Halo

It was Jackson’s
of the new games which provoked excitement:

“It’s a form of entertainment that’s not a game and it’s not a film. It’s a filmic
game experience. I think we’re on a threshold of a new way to tell stories. […] I
wouldn’t even call these games in my mind, because I’m not a game designer. What I’m
really interested in is taking ideas that could become films, but maybe they won’t be
films … They’ll be steered into this technology that the Microsoft Game Studios people
have developed.”

Peter Jackson at X06 – photo by
Rune Fjeld Olsen

XBox Live Stats

It looks like XBox is ahead of both Sony and Nintendo in terms of online gaming
entertainment – or at least moving towards the next generation Internet-based gaming experience the fastest. Xbox’s “top man in Australia” David McLean recently gave some stats about
Xbox Live:

“…since launch last November, there have been 57,000 downloads from Xbox Live, more
than two billion hours of gameplay have been logged on the service and more than eight
million games have been downloaded from Xbox Live Arcade. He also emphasies that the Xbox
360 will have a nine-month head start on Nintendo’s Wii and will be a year ahead of
Sony’s PlayStation 3.”

Nintendo’s Wii

If there is a dark horse in
the online gaming industry, it is Nintendo and its upcoming Wii. The Wii user interface is designed around the concept of television
channels, accessible using the pointer capability of the Wii Remote. It will also have a
web browser – a version of the
Opera web browser for use on the Wii, which will be free for all Wii users until June


In terms of innovation, all 3 (MS, Nintendo and Sony) are worth watching. Microsoft has the muscle and now the talent (Peter Jackson), but I’m tracking the Wii closely too.

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