Microsoft Supports Community Gaming With Xbox Live

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"We need to put power in the hands of the community," Satchell said. "We'll do that by democratizing the development process."

Although Satchell provided the audience a look at some games up and ready to play as a free trial, he provided no information on prices or the interface for Community Games.

Satchell also announced XNA, intended as a cross-platform program, will be moving to the struggling Zune media player next year, along with WiFi support for multiplayer games. "Our goal is to drive a creative and social revolution in games with the same transformative power that we've seen in digital music and video sharing," he said.

After Satchell's announcement the focus shifted back to mainstream, big budget development, with industry heavyweights like Epic Games President Michael Capps and CEO Tim Sweeney tolling the wonders of graphics engine Unreal Engine 3. Head of Lionhead Studios Peter Molyneux talked about further Xbox Live integration for Fable 2.

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Schappert retook the stage to emphasize the importance of developers before Microsoft's big finale: the announcement of the sequel to the popular third-person shooter Gears of War, which will hit stores this November.