I must start this post with my declaration of my love of video games, I am what you call a “hardcore gamer”. So when I got the invite to go to X10, I was very excited. Being able to play games before they come out in retail is stellar.
For those who have no idea what X10 is, it is a preview event showcasing what is going to be available this holiday season for the Xbox 360.
As you walk into the building, there are flat screens everywhere and the tell tale sign of green lights casting there glow throughout the space. That lovely shade of green tells me there are Xbox’s here and they want me to play them. But I had to be careful and keep my other hat on, that being my media hat. As much as I love video games, I was there in a working capacity. As I tried to envision how we can take advantage of the amazing spaces these gaming companies are making and integrate it with our clients and their future campaigns.
Currently, there are several different ways to be in the gaming space, from simple ads within the game world, to branded destinations within the Xbox dashboard to play and win contests. But we can also do video in games as well, another way to extend what we do in the TV studio.
As I start to walk through the floor, I am instantly looking for 1 game in particular: Halo Reach. Being one of the first to play the updated firefight mode is awesome. I’ve been a fan of the series since it came out, way back when on the original Xbox. I could have sat there all day. But there were so many other spectacular games on display. Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, Call of Duty: Black Ops and of course, the game changing Kinect.
Kinect is a brand new peripheral device for the Xbox 360; it looks like a small web cab that will sit on top of your TV. It is directly aimed at taking the Xbox beyond just a console for people like me. Kinect is a controller free way to interact and play games with Xbox. Yes that’s right, controller free. All you need to do is stand in front of the device, let it scan you and away you go. The games coming out at launch all focus on getting you out of your seat and using your whole body to play. Not only that, it can recognize multiple people and their voices. So not only will this change the way games are played, it also changes how we interact with the Xbox.
Kinect is where I see plenty of opportunity for our clients to become more involved within the gaming environment. With the launch in November, the good people at X10 were tight lipped about if any advertisers were signed on. But I’d imagine some very family oriented brands will be very interested in this new space. In the future, I can see fully branded mini games aimed in bringing the whole family together to play. Another concept might be to create a play to win situation with an existing game, perhaps a trip for the whole family where each member needs to do something specific to qualify them to win and since the Kinect can recognize all the people in the family, they will all need to play the game to enter.
But for now, Microsoft is focusing on launching the device and I’m confident that ideas will spring out of it once adoption reaches that critical mass.
As I grabbed my note book to make the walk back to the office, I was just glad that I had the chance to be there and bring two of my passions together.