The introduction of Microsoft's Connected Services Framework allows developers to add Xbox Live games to mobile mashups, or applications that combine Web services from different sources.
Announced on Monday, the Connected Services Framework and a support service called Connected Services Sandbox, were created to help developers produce mashups, or applications that combine different Web services. The move opens the door for operators to offer Xbox Live access as part of a customized service package for their subscribers.
"From the operator's point of view, Xbox Live is very intriguing because it really is a very sticky service to a broadband connection," said Pieter Knook, the senior vice president in charge of Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Devices Division, during an interview at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2006 conference and exhibition in Hong Kong.
"If you have a teenager in the household who is an Xbox player you will never be able to turn off that broadband line ever again. From that point of view, for the operator it's an example of something that really reduces churn," Knook said, using the industry term to describe the number of subscribers who cancel their service or switch to another operator.
Playing the same game on a console and a mobile phone involve two different gaming experiences. "People are not going to play the same games on their mobile devices that they do on their dedicated console or PC," Knook said.
Instead, Xbox Live on a mobile handset will likely complement the console or PC game. For example, players of the popular "Halo" game use the console to engage in battles, while using their PCs to provision their game characters and organize teams. Extending the game to mobile handsets will allow players to keep in touch with friends and team members while they are away from their PC or console.
"That community environment gets extended to the mobile device, but it's not like you're going to play 'Halo' on your mobile device any time soon," Knook said.