Xbox 'Gamerscore' Reels 'Em In

Popular feature boosts sales, inspires cheaters
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2007 12:18 PM CST
Gamers playing Xbox 360   (Getty Images)
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(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.