This week, in a move designed to attract the type of video gaming
audience that would more typically choose a Nintendo device, Microsoft
revealed the first in a series of Xbox 360 game titles that are aimed
at children. Dubbed "Viva Piñata" (seriously), the game will be
accompanied by a children's animated TV show, music, and more
traditional toys. Microsoft calls it a "product collection."
"We're doing a fabulous job with first-person shooters \[and\] driving
games," says Peter Moore, the corporate vice president of the
Interactive Entertainment Business, Entertainment and Devices Division,
at Microsoft. "What we've not done well with in the first generation is
to give a 10-year-old a real reason to buy an Xbox. That's what this is
The characters in Viva Piñata are animals inspired by piñatas.
According to Microsoft, the Xbox 360 game will debut in time for the
2006 holiday season and will be developed by Rare, the company behind
"Perfect Dark Zero" and "Kameo," two hit Xbox 360 launch titles. The TV
show based on the product collection and other merchandise will begin
appearing throughout this year.