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What's in Store for Xbox 360 in 2008?

I had the opportunity earlier today to chat with Aaron Goldberg, Group Product Manager for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. We talked about a bunch of Xbox related things and he brought me a shiny new Elite which I'm sure I'll enjoy.

We talked about new games that are coming out this year for Xbox 360:
April 29 - GTA IV. It's going to be in HD for the first time, have many online multiplayer modes, and exclusive episodic content for Xbox 360 gamers starting in fall 2008.

June - Ninja Gaiden II - controls will be easier to master and there will be more save points. I really hate games that don't have enough save points, so this is great news.

November - Gears of War 2

By end of year 2008, there will be over 1000 titles available for Xbox 360. Microsoft's goal is to become the default platform for developers. Remember how 3 years ago every game was targeted at PS2? We're rapidly approaching the days where every game is targeted at Xbox 360. Already, many games are optimized for 360. An example of this is Madden NFL, which ran at 60 fps on 360 and 30 fps on PS3.

Microsoft is really building up Live. Sony completely missed the boat on this one. Microsoft has a valuable entry point into millions of living rooms with Xbox Live. They've got more HD available for download than satellite or cable including movies, TV shows, music videos, and game trailers. TV Shows cost about $2 to own and movies are rentals that time out.

One very cool feature is that if you download something from Xbox Live onto your 360 and then go to a friend's house, you can log in from his 360 and download the same thing. This is a clear advantage over DVR. With DVR if you want to share a program someone has to come to your house to watch it.

Before Aaron left he showed me a beautifully custom painted Xbox 360 Elite created for GTA IV. The finish was amazing - this was no cheap silkscreening job like you see on gaming PC's. He said that they hired a company that does auto-detailing to do it. They are making 500 numbered units. I should've taken a photo. The thing was beautiful. You can't buy one - they're giving them away.

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