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GDC: Blizzard in talks with Microsoft about developing the next Xbox

Pardo explains why there's no WOW for 360.

Blizzard's Rob Pardo has confirmed his company has had talks with Microsoft about the successor to Xbox 360.

Pardo was speaking at the Luminaries Lunch held at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and attended by GamesIndustry.biz. He would only state that Blizzard is actively in discussions with Microsoft - seeming to confirm the development process for new console hardware is underway.

Other developers at the lunch said they have not spoken to either Microsoft or Sony about future plans. This has raised concerns that content isn't a priority for format holders as they plan the next-generation of home machines.

"How many designers in the games industry do you think they are rounding up to [talk to], because this is going to make or break them this time around," said Acclaim's David Perry.

"I'm not aware that they are putting a big amount of effort into finding out how to make the games. The people who are actually physically going to make the games are all going to get a surprise."

Warren Spector, boss of Disney's Junction Point Studios and responsible for classic titles such as Deus Ex, said he believes format holders are too concerned with the wider entertainment market to focus on games.

"I get the impression they're focusing on owning the living room," he said. "One device that lets you watch movies, television and play games and music and all that stuff.

"They're so focused on that that I'm not even sure they're thinking about the games that are going to come out. Which is kind of crazy," he added.

Pardo said that so far there's been a good reason why Blizzard titles such as World of Warcraft haven't appeared on home consoles - the hardware hasn't been specifically designed to suit some genres.

"There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don't take to consoles because they don't support the input device, and you end up with crappy ports. That's why RTS games never do well on consoles," he said.

"If I was them, I'd be sitting around trying to figure out what's a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games."

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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