Journalism on Xbox

Imagine a factual game on a console.

Tough market? Sure. Prestige? You bet! The potential for impact is high. Releasing to console is a pipeline into 10 million homes, if you’re talking about Xbox.

And I am – trouble is that releasing a game to console typically takes years and millions of dollars.

Well, not any more. Microsoft has just offered everyone – including journalists – the opportunity to put games on consoles. Someone, somewhere called this the ‘YouTube of Games’

I think that’s overselling this development – we already have a game youtube over at Kongregate. But opening consoles to UGC is significant.

At GDC, the Microsoft keynote presentation included this announcement: user-generated games will now be available via Xbox Live.

Anyone can develop a game with Xbox XNA, submit it to the community, and see how they like it. This whole blog is about how games can be fun and convey factual information. So entering the world of 3D console games would be a coup for any news organization. This is a prestigious, high-visibility global market. It’s not an overstatement to say that being the first to penetrate the PC/console gaming market with factual content would cause a sensation.

If this couples with the ability to mod game engines to make new content, this could be very interesting. Modding a game engine allows you to release a 3D title for not very much – just a handful of guys working for 3 months will get you a demo level with new gameplay. So you could feasibly release a 3D environment to console with graphics like this:

this could be you filming Baghdad, or Karachi . . . just change the textures

User created content = win.

Indeed.

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