Microsoft Tries to Raise 'Candiosity,' Aims at Kid Market with 'Viva Piñata' [Wall Street Journal]
Summary: Microsoft is setting its sights on the 6-11 year old market this holiday season, and has built a team of corporate partners to help. Fox TV's new show Viva Piñata is at the core of this strategy; Microsoft aims to launch an Xbox 360 game based on the show this holiday season. Other partners include 4Kids Entertainment (the media company behind Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh), and Playmates Toys, which is developing the next generation of trading cards personified in $6.99-$14.99 interactive figurines. According to MSFT's VP of Franchise Development Ed Ventura, "The younger audience is certainly our future business because they turn into our hard-core gamers". Expect a gaming-advertising battle this season; analysts project video game manufacturers will spend $100M in game and console advertising in Q4. Microsoft is risking alienating its traditional thirty-something consumers in favor of a much younger audience.
Related links: Who Will Profit from Console Gaming Wars? • Gaming Wars Continued • Sony Playstation Mania • Microsoft's Viva Piñata Site
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Partners: Microsoft (MSFT), 4Kids Entertainment (KDE), News Corporation (NWS). Competitors: Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY), Sony (SNE)
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