Xbox 'Gamerscore' Reels 'Em In

Popular feature boosts sales, inspires cheaters

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 11, 2007 12:18 PM CST

(Newser) – “Gamerscore” could be Microsoft’s secret weapon in its bitter rivalry with Apple’s iPod, the Washington Post observes. The popular feature from the tech giant’s Xbox allows players to rack up points in the console’s social-networking world and flaunt their “achievements” for friends. The gamerscore may only bestow “vague, and nerdy, street cred,” the Post’s Mike Musgrove admits, but it’s effective.

A game loaded with the perfect blend of gamerscore goals can boost sales by up to 50%, one research firm found. “It has changed the face of the gaming industry,” cooed one loyal fan. But the feature has already created a cottage industry of its own: Cheaters can artificially inflate their scores, shelling out $160 for 2,000 points. Now MS wants to extend the idea to its Zune music players in the battle with the iPod and iTunes.

Gamers playing Xbox 360   (Getty Images)
Tokyo Game Show 2005   (Getty Images)
Visitors try out games of Xbox 360 at the Tokyo Game Show 2007 in Makuhari, near Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)   (Associated Press)
In this photo released by Xbox, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, second from right, plays Xbox 360 at his home in Los Gatos, Calif., with teammates and a Halo gaming expert, Tuesday, Sept....   (Associated Press)
Takashi Sensui, general manager of the Xbox Division of Microsoft Co., Ltd, speaks after demonstrating new game software at a media presentation in Tokyo Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007, ahead of the annual...   (Associated Press)
Microsoft Xbox 360   (Getty Images (by Event))
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