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Microsoft to take Wii approach with 360?

Peter Moore talks of a new strategy in the face of competition from fun-focused Wii

Xbox Microsoft boss Peter Moore has hinted at a change in strategy for Xbox 360 going into 2007, to compete with the mainstream appeal of Nintendo's fun-focused Wii.

"From a first-party point of view, it's not just about E-rated games, it's going to be about the experience that, quite frankly, Nintendo has done a tremendous job in capturing, in bringing back fun - if you will - to the gaming platforms", said Moore in an interview with Game Informer.

"But we've got a few tricks up our sleeve as well to be able to do that. It's not something that we're going to be shy about, and it's not something that we're not painfully aware of that needs to be changed by this holiday. That has been the strategy all along, and we'll be making some more announcements in the coming month or two."

Could Microsoft, the only company in the console war without a motion-sensing controller, be cooking up some sort of motion-controlled trickery?

It certainly could be, as Moore goes on to hint: "It's actually not games. It's more experiential than that. And again, since the day I saw Iwata-san pull the Nunchuk controller out from under his podium a few years ago at TGS, I've always realized that was the right thing for Nintendo ... to be successful in this next generation.

"And it was always going to be a challenge for us. So, we have plans. This does not come as a surprise. Our strategy has been laid out for us years in advance, and you're going to see some of that this next holiday and beyond."

So if it is a motion controller, Microsoft isn't ripping off Nintendo because the strategy was in place "years in advance"? But it could also mean that we'll be seeing more Viva Pinata-style family games from Microsoft Games Studios.

Moore also discussed the growing importance of downloadable games. "Digital distribution is coming. All three consoles have some form of it as you know. Xbox Live Arcade is, I think, the premiere way we're looking at digital distribution, which is, if you will, more snack-sized games rather than full downloads of multi-gigabyte gaming experiences."

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