Talking in an interview to be published in full on Gamasutra later today, Dave Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Game Developer Group has been discussing the company's newly launched XNA Game Studio Express and Creators Club, touching on both the Xbox 360 homebrew game system's competitiveness with Sony's PS3 offerings, as well as longer-term plans for universal sharing of Creators Club games.
When asked about Sony's efforts to create a homebrew culture by allowing Linux to be installed freely on the PlayStation 3 (albeit without access to the RSX graphics chipset, among other restrictions), Mitchell commented: "On the one hand I've got to commend them for moving up their platform there, but we really don't view what Sony and PlayStation 3 and particularly the Linux solution that they are making available - we don't really view that as a competitive offering or trying to do something in the same vein."
He continued: "The fundamental difference here is not just about providing access to a platform, it's really about making an investment in something, and ensuring that people who will want to make games on your game console are successful in doing that... What we are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms."
Mitchell concluded by explaining of Microsoft's plans: "And looking forward in that vision, in terms of how we really enable the broad YouTube type experience for games, but also one that fits in with the business model... so if you look at the whole breadth of the offering, and the technical depth of what we are looking to bring to the market, it's not even the same thing as what those guys are doing right now."
The Microsoft exec also hinted that sharing Creators Club games universally over all Xbox 360 users was a major priority for the company next year, commenting: "In 2007, where you're really going to see us investing is on that sharing point. First, it's going to be about how do members of the Creators Club really share games more easily among one another, because we're seeing a lot of desire an interest and people doing that today."
"And then moving beyond that, once they want to take it past that threshold out to the end consumers, and like in this case, I make a game and I send it over to you to have you check out my game, and you're not a member of the Creators Club, I'd still love for you to be able to play it. That's absolutely the scenario that we want to support and start working on and enabling that in 2007."
The full interview with Mitchell, including plenty of specifics on IP rights and other details for the company's Creators Club plans, will be published on Gamasutra later today.