There’s been a lot of talk about the future of gaming. In a new leaked video, the always prepared Microsoft is taking no chances letting the world know how it sees the future of its Windows Gaming Experience platform implemented with Xbox Live. Purely conceptual for the time being, Microsoft’s video focuses on four experiences: social, avatars, search and transaction. Social focuses on integrating Facebook games such as FarmVille; avatars concentrate on customizing a user’s cute Xbox Live character with a virtual wardrobe; search emphasizes the ease of finding and joining games and apps such as addictive puzzle game Bejeweled through Bing and lastly, transaction delivers digital content, small or large, expensive or cheap with simplicity. There’s not a lot of Halo, Gears of War or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in this demo vid, but that’s ok. Social gaming is meant to augment hardcore gaming, not replace it. There’s just no denying that social gaming is a big business – for Zynga, creators of FarmVille – apparently $10 billion. It’d be stupid for Microsoft to ignore the cry of millions of casual gamers. We wouldn’t be surprised if we saw many of these conceptual features make their way into the next Xbox 360.
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