Blizzard in talks with Microsoft for next Xbox

But content creators concerned about lack of communication from format holders on evolution of new console hardware

By Matt Martin.Published Wednesday 25th March 2009, 11:03pm GMT

Blizzard's Rob Pardo has confirmed that his company has had talks with Microsoft about the successor to the Xbox 360.

Speaking at the Luminaries Lunch today during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Pardo would only state that Blizzard is actively in discussions with Microsoft, seemingly confirming the development process of new console hardware is under way.

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However, other developers at the lunch have not spoken to either Microsoft or Sony about future plans, which has raised concerns that content isn't a priority for format holders as they plan the next-generation of home machines.

"How many designers in the games industry do you think they are rounding up to [talk to], because this is going to make or break them this time around," said Acclaim's David Perry.

"I'm not aware that they are putting a big amount of effort into finding out how to make the games. The people who are actually physically going to make the games are all going to get a surprise," he added.

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Warren Spector, boss of Disney's Junction Point Studios and responsible for classic titles such as Deus Ex, said that he believes format holders are too concerned with the wider entertainment market to focus on games.

"I get the impression they're focusing on owning the living room," he said. "One device that lets you watch movies, television and play games and music and all that stuff.

"They're so focused on that that I'm not even sure they're thinking about the games that are going to come out. Which is kind of crazy." he added.

Pardo said that so far there's been a good reason why Blizzard titles such as World of Warcraft haven't appeared on home consoles – the hardware hasn't been specifically designed around some genres.

"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," he said.

"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."

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