Microsoft hails its killer weapon in battle with PS3 and Wii

Microsoft has claimed that it is continually keeping ahead” of its rivals’ online services with additions to Xbox Live.

The firm this week added social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and music portal Last.FM to Live – as well as HD movie streaming service Zune.

However, Facebook arrived on PS3 on Wednesday, as Nintendo launched its own version of the BBC iPlayer on Wii.

We were the first to really understand the power that an online, live service has and bring it to life for millions of gamers – and now we’re the ones evolving it beyond gaming,” UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson told MCV.

There are lots of clever companies out there doing interesting things on their platforms, but it’s our job to keep ahead of them, and constantly innovate. We’re keeping that pace going and will continue to do so.

Xbox Live is flying at the moment – in the UK especially. Live is a killer weapon for us in terms of our line-up.

When we first got into the console business, we understood that the elements that were going to define success in this business were really software and services. We knew that the hardware component was important, but really wasn’t the vital thing.”

The Zune service is a particularly intriguing addition to Xbox 360 – introducing a premium video experience with instant-on HD and surround sound.

Microsoft told MCV that the service was a way to build awareness of the Zune brand – but was not an indicator that it had plans to introduce Zune hardware to the UK.

Zune is a pivotal element to our whole entertainment offering and a brand we’re going to keep building on,” added Thompson.

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