AMEX and Xbox get it together

Having already linked my foursquare account with my Amex card, I was surprised to receive an email inviting me to do the same with my Xbox. Sure enough by visiting Amexbox you can associate your American Express card with your Xbox account.

Why would you do this?

Well, for a start I could unlock a £10 credit on my account just for syncing up the accounts:

£10 credit on amexbox

After that there seem to be a variety of other benefits linked to AMEX partners and games publishers. Below you can see how Microsoft Studios are incentivising completion of different missions in Halo 4, including £25 for just completing the opening chapter. That’s pretty generous.

It’s an interesting start and a great way for publishers to promote content and secure loyalty. I wonder when they’ll do the same with the Playstation?

Xbox Live announced for Windows 8 – a gamechanger for IGA?

Microsoft has now confirmed that Xbox live will be available on Windows 8.

While details are sparce the idea if that games can be played across multiple devices, such as Xbox, PC and eventually mobiles.

Microsoft has made advances in this area before with Games for Windows, where titles such as Bulletstorm could be played multiplayer across device, although the range of titles was limited.

The opportunity for games to launch cross-platform should surely increase the potential inventory for in game advertising and also allow better targeting.

Is the Kinect a serious platform for online marketers?

Kinect - Fastest Selling Consumer Device

Following a hugely successful launch (defined as the fastest selling consumer device) last November, The Kinect is already starting to be considered as a new marketing channel, before it’s even a year old.

I’ve mentioned before about advertisers such as Samsung and Flora experimenting with sponsorship on Kinect games, but Microsoft have now unveiled an entirely new and interactive ad platform – NUads

Details are still pretty light at this stage,  but the idea is to make advertising more interactive through the use of gestures and voice commands – any chance of a “skip this cr@p” ad command?

With 10 million units shipped by end of Q1 2011, the device is certainly on-track to become mainstream.

Furthermore, the Kinect might not be limited to the xBox console. The device connects with a standard USB adaptor and Microsoft has released and SDK for third party developers, so you might be able to plug it into you laptop , PC of blu-ray player.


Bing Voice search comes to Kinect

Bing Voice Search on xBox

Just as we’re getting to grips with the challenges and opportunities within mobile search, it looks like we have more channels to contend with. With Google TV already live in the US, and guides to optimising your site for TV already exist; truly cross-channel digital campaigns are on their way.

With Bing Voice search Microsoft is really starting to leverage all it’s different online assets, including Kinect, it’s revolutionary games controller.

Don’t worry too much about the impact on your campaigns just yet though. The service is initially designed to search content on the console and the xBox LIVE network.

Games Publishers to move to subscription model for online gaming?

The likelihood that Activision will launch a premium subscription for online multiplayer soon makes no sense to me.

Given players on Xbox already commit to an online subscription through either Xbox live , surely additional charges will lose fans?

Surely it would make more sense to pursue an ad-funded model?

While in-game advertising would struggle find suitable advertisers for these games (Not many billboards are left standard in these games!), there is definitely the opportunity to deliver targeted ads on the lobby screen between games?

With a little tinkering , these ads could even become interactive without ruining gameplay. For example, send this ad/offer to a friend. Sign me up for the newsletter; send me the coupon.

Maybe I’m missing the point.