Blizzard and Microsoft in Xbox 720 Talks

Blizzard executive Rob Pardo has revealed that the World of Warcraft developer is in active talks with Microsoft regarding the successor to the Xbox 360, reports

Pardo said this during the Luminaries Lunch at the Game Developers Conference. Other industry figures lunching--including Sims creator Will Wright, Deus Ex creator Warren Spector and Acclaim's David Perry--said they'd yet to be approached about the unannounced console, lovingly dubbed the Xbox 720 by many.

This is perhaps surprising considering Blizzard's last game to see a console release was the Nintendo 64 port of StarCraft way back in 2000 but that's the point--Blizzard's titles absolutely dominate the PC platform yet never reach consoles. Pardo explains:

"There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don't take to consoles because they don't support the input device and you end up with crappy ports. That's why RTS games never do well on consoles."

"If I was them, I'd be sitting around trying to figure out what's a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games."

With surefire hits Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 under development at Blizzard, not to mention an unannounced next-gen MMO, Microsoft must be eager not to miss out this time.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 26, 2009 8:09 AM

    No, no, no. Sony says that the product cycle will see this generation lasting more than 10 years, and that's why the PS3 is going to eventually conquer all.

    I mean, this just can't be possible. Or... can it?

    Someone better send the Sony guys an email. This might change their Master Plan a bit.

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      March 26, 2009 8:23 AM

      just because there have been talks doesn't really mean anything is coming soon. Hell I'm sure that Sony is already laying the groundwork for the PS4even if it wont be on shelves for seven more years. Research and development doesn't happen over night.

      What I really take from this tidbit of news is that MS may be considering kb+mouse support for their next console.

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        March 26, 2009 8:29 AM

        I doubt MS will allow kb+m on it; more likely they will try to add something like the wiimote, which is better suited for RTS etc than a gamepad; or even something completely new (haha yeah right)

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          March 26, 2009 8:33 AM

          oh god I cant even consider playing an RTS with the wiimote.

      • reply
        March 26, 2009 8:35 AM

        Nah the PS4 will be out in 3-4 years, the '10 year' thing is just that they will continue supporting/producing it that long, like the PS2 still is now. Same thing MS will be doing with the 360 this time, now they own the hardware design and can keep making it cheaper.

        I don't know about the keyboard/mouse thing, I'd be willing to bet they won't do that, and would keep it to some sort of simplified interface for the controller, with message pad support like the current controller.

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          March 26, 2009 8:40 AM

          oh I dont really expect Sony to actually wait the full 10 years like they've suggested. I was just saying that even if they did, they would already be laying the foundations of the PS4 and having secret talks of their own.

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            March 26, 2009 9:01 AM

            Gotcha. And yeah I'm sure everyone is talking to everyone right now, this shouldn't be any big surprise that these two are talking.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 8:33 AM

      I don't think Sony ever included the other console makers into that 10-year cycle. Their 'master plan' is quite simple. While the other console makers splinter their support with new consoles using the conventional 5-year hardware cycle, the PS3 is supposed to maintain it's same user base. Whether it succeeds or not remains to be seen as we're only now entering the PS3's 3rd year. As the Wii has already shown, pure technological horsepower is not going to be the sole factor which is why MS is in talks with Blizzard.

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      March 26, 2009 8:39 AM

      Nothing about Sony's 10 year PS3 support plan stops them from making a PS4.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 9:00 AM

      The idea of people sticking with the Xbox 360 or PS3 for ten years is completely laughable. That's just not how technology works. Everyone would be going back to the PC by year 6.

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        March 26, 2009 9:33 AM

        The Gamecube came out in 2001. The Wii has marginally more horsepower than the GC and is going strong in 2009 and will continue to be a force for atleast a couple more years. Technology is not the sole factor driving gaming trends. If that was the case then the original Gameboy should've been blown out of the water by the Lynx and Gamegear long ago.

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          March 26, 2009 10:06 AM

          The PS2 came out in 2000 and has sold well over 50% of it's volume after it hit the $149 price. 10 years is a bit long, but the desired lifetime is certainly beyond the release of a successor.

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        March 26, 2009 10:49 AM

        The PS2 still sells today. 9 years old.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 10:47 AM

      You really don't pay attention to the market do you? Next year the PS2 will hit it's 10 year mark and it will still be on the shelf. Sony says PS3 will have a 10 year lifespan. Just like the PS2 and the PS1 before it. Why is that so hard to understand?

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      March 26, 2009 11:28 AM

      That doesn't mean there wouldn't be a new PS before that 10 year cycle. That's where you've misunderstood their stance.

      PS2 lifecycle is about to end, but they intend to have longer cycle on PS3.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 1:19 PM

      The PS2 has a 10 year lifecycle, as did the PS1. If you don't have the mental muscle to grasp what that means, you should probably refrain from making yourself look like an idiot online.

      • reply
        March 26, 2009 1:30 PM

        everyone has the right and privilege to make themselves look like an idiot online. otherwise the internet would be a very desolate place.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 2:04 PM

      It would be a mistake for fanboys and console makers alike to believe "winning" a generation is what matters in life...

      It's all about making money. If MS can come up with a way to make all their x360 owners switch to a theoretical x720 after say 7 years then good on them.

      Lets forget the Wii for a moment...
      Despite the x360's hardware failings, the fact that it was released cheaper (and before) than the PS3 and has come down in price much more rapidly than the PS3 has been a big bonus for the console.
      In Australia now it still costs $700aud (~$490usd) for a PS3 and yet you can pick up a x360 for $400aud (~$280usd)
      If i didnt know anything about the two systems other than that they are similar and one can play blu-ray discs i would probably grab the x360 based on price alone.

    • reply
      March 26, 2009 3:58 PM

      I guarantee you that both Sony and MS are already doing R&D for the next console - doesn't mean it will be out before 2013-2014 though...

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