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Microsoft to Lure Younger Kids to Xbox 360

Techstination feature for Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Microsoft looks to broaden the appeal of the Xbox 360. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. While Nintendo looks to sell its handheld DS game machines to older consumers….Microsoft is hoping to attract families with younger children to the Xbox 360. It is partnering with 4Kids Entertainment to create a new game for the console…that will follow on the heels of a new kids TV show… Viva Pinata. Shane Kim is general manager of Microsoft Game Studios….

"Viva Pinata is set in this very, very vibrant world and fortunately for us, 4Kids recognized the potential of what they could do in that world and they're taking it to the animated TV series. 4Kids has tremendous experience and a successful track record with other properties like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and hopefully this will be something exactly like that."

What Microsoft would like to do is create the kind of franchise brand….that Nintendo has been so successful with …with the Super Mario games and others….

"We certainly have some very successful franchises in our portfolio. Both on Windows and in the Xbox. If you look at things like Fable or Halo or Age of Empires, those are very successful franchises. But you are correct, in terms of targeting or appealing to a younger audience, this is something that we think will have far reaching impact and we don't have another title like that in our portfolio today."

The TV show arrives in the fall…with the Viva Pinata game debuting in time for the holidays. And then there'll be a variety of merchandise as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.