Chris Morris at Forbes today broke the news that Xbox LIVE Primetime, the centerpiece of Microsoft’s "New Xbox Experience" (NXE) planned for the fall, has had to be delayed.
Microsoft has delayed the launch of "Xbox Live Primetime," its programmed series of interactive games with real-world prizes, until the spring. Microsoft managers say the delay is necessary in order to ensure a smooth launch of the system’s new user interface (or, if you prefer the terminology of Microsoft’s PR department, the "new Xbox experience").
The engineering challenges proved formidable–perhaps even more than the company anticipated. Because the relaunch of Xbox Live is the biggest gaming project the company has undertaken since getting the 360 onto store shelves, things have slipped. Rather than postponing the launch until next year, when all touted features will be ready, the company has opted to cut. (Microsoft said recently that it would delay launching the feature that would allow members in different locations to simultaneously watch a streaming Netflix movie together.)
Aaron Greenberg, group marketing manager for Microsoft, said the company is still very dedicated to the concept of Primetime and continues to work on it.
When Primetime was announced in July, I was dubious of the concept and still am without regard to the technical hurdles. It just doesn’t seem attractive either as an interactive game or as a business. Many new technologies start out lamely imitating their predecessors and using Xbox LIVE to imitate a TV game show seems to fit nicely in that category.