In the second part of our exclusive interview with David Edery, the worldwide portfolio planner for Xbox Live has told Develop that Nintendo’s new more relaxed WiiWare system and PlayStation Network with its bigger file size limit are not impacting the prospects of Microsoft’s digital distribution platform.
"We aren’t seeing any reduction whatsoever in developer interest in XBLA, so we’re pretty happy with the current state of things," he said when asked about what threat the two platforms pose, adding: "XBLA is the perfect environment in which to experiment with innovative gameplay and original IP."
Nintendo announced earlier this year that it plans to introduce a new Wii channel, called WiiWare (or Wii Software in Europe) next year which lets developers upload new games and sell them to consumers – the platform is entirely open provided games pass a QA test. Sony, meanwhile, has been courting developers to create games for the PlayStation Network, which can have games as big as 5GB available (a 1GB game and up to four more 1GB expansions).
However Microsoft isn’t worried by these and won’t be changing its own file sizes, added Edery.
He said: "First, we are committed to preserving an ecosystem in which developers can thrive and take risks on innovative games. Second, we want XBLA games to be pick-up-and-play experiences."
On the subject of the huge 5GB Sony offers, he said: "Anyone who thinks you need 5GB to make a good game hasn’t played with a Nintendo DS recently. And anyone who thinks you can’t make a beautiful game in under 150MB hasn’t seen RoboBlitz or Undertow – both XBLA games that clock in around 50MB."
And with regards to Nintendo, he commented: "The Wii is a great platform. However, XBLA has a big advantage vis-à-vis its association with Live; Nintendo is still working to flesh out the Wii’s online service.
"Furthermore, neither Nintendo nor Sony have an answer to XNA Game Studio and the Creators Club. Microsoft has put tremendous effort into creating a platform that makes life easier for hobbyists and professional developers, and I expect that effort to pay off handsomely in the near future. In fact, if you’ve seen the results of the Dream Build Play contest, I think you’ll agree that our bet on XNA is already starting to pay off."
The second part of our David Edery Q&A can be found here.