In mid-November, both Sony and Nintendo plan to release their next-generation game consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Wii, respectively.
But as the game world welcomes these new consoles--and the first round of games for them--Microsoft's Xbox 360 will be reaching its first birthday with a year's head-start in games and accessories. Further, while the Wii is getting a lot of good press for its $250 price tag, Sony's decision to put Blu-ray players in the PS3 and thus price its high-end console at $599 has resulted in a lot of criticism. Microsoft's "premium" Xbox costs $399.
Since the Xbox 360 launch last November in the Mojave Desert, Microsoft also has put a great deal of effort into bolstering its Xbox Live service and has recently unveiled its XNA Game Studio Express, which will enable small teams of developers to make games for the Xbox or for the PC, and have those games made available to the public.
At the same time, the company has been touting its Xbox Live Arcade service, through which the company is regularly releasing hit games of the past such as "Pac Man," "Galaga" and "Defender." Those games cost less than $10 to download and have become a hit on the service.
Throughout it all, Microsoft Vice President Peter Moore has presided over the growing Xbox 360 empire. The company has said it eventually intends for a billion people to be connected in some way to that empire. And although that goal may be a fantasy, it's not hard to imagine Microsoft doing all it can to try to get there.
CNET News.com sat down recently with Moore at Microsoft's Xbox headquarters in Redmond, Wash., as Moore was preparing to head overseas for the Tokyo Game Show and then, among other things, a trip to India to launch the Xbox there.