Microsoft to delay Xbox Live Primetime

Posted by Joshua Hill

Chicago (IL) - When Microsoft announced at E3 2008 that it would be introducing Xbox Live Primetime for the Xbox 360, the company suggested that it would launch in the fall along with the revamped Xbox Live service. But according to a report by Forbes, Microsoft will delay the launch in order to ensure a smooth launch for the new user interface.

Microsoft will be launching the new dashboard on November 19. And more than just making it easier to find content, Microsoft will add a handful of new features. Users will be able customize and share avatars, as well as stream movies from Netflix straight to their console.

Xbox Live Primetime was supposed to be Microsoft’s attempt to not only take a bigger piece of the gaming pie, but also step into a role usually held aside for television. Primetime would allow users to play against each other in online game shows, which would have started with 1 vs. 100.

According to Microsoft, the game would pit “one Xbox Live member against 100 others from around the world with a live host and great prizes.”

The move may have put Microsoft in a powerful position for Christmas sales, had the company been able to follow through with a fall launch. Moving on the momentum game consoles have already built up against mainstream television, in addition to a weak fall schedule, could have dealt the TV industry another blow.