Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Electronic Arts to play online with Xbox

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Electronic Arts to play online with Xbox "Just a year ago, the biggest video-game developer teamed up exclusively with Sony's best-selling game system to develop online sports titles — dealing Microsoft's Xbox a very public snub.
But now it appears Electronic Arts (EA) has learned a thing or two from Xbox's new marketing slogan: It's good to play together.
The game developer and Microsoft announced yesterday they have made peace and plan to release about 15 titles, including several sports games, that are compatible with the Xbox online gaming service, called Xbox Live.
...
On the software side, Microsoft said it is working on a program that will allow Xbox Live users to conduct up to four video chat sessions.
The new technology, which requires Web cameras, is expected to be initially rolled out in Japan.
McNealy [no, not that McNealy] said the program is a sign Microsoft wants to innovate and expand the Xbox audience.
Microsoft wants first to put the Xbox in every household with a PlayStation 2, McNealy said. Next it wants to go after those without either system.
The company also announced an arcade for Xbox Live, where customers can pay about $10 to download simpler, more casual games such as "Bejeweled." Game developers Atari and Namco have committed to producing titles for the arcade."

BTW Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) has a mkt cap of ~$15.5B at the moment -- sign of the times relative to, say, Amazon.com (AMZN: ~$17B), Apple (AAPL: ~$10B), Macromedia (MACR: ~$1.5B), or Borland (BORL: ~$0.67B)
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