Xbox Live Primetime launch pushed to spring

Part of Microsoft's "New Xbox Experience" initiative is a massively multiplayer pseudo game show with a live host and real prizes called "Xbox Live Primetime." Now, the launch of this genre-bending feature has been delayed.

The New Xbox Experience is scheduled to begin on November 19 with the rollout of a large number of upgrades designed with the casual gamer firmly in mind. One such upgrade Microsoft showed off at this year's E3 was an Xbox Live version of the TV game show "1 vs. 100" where a huge panel of players compete for real life prizes, with a real life host.

It looked to be almost more of a regular game show than video game. The massive undertaking was expected to be ready for the fall launch of the New Xbox Experience in North America, the UK, Germany, and France.

Forbes' Chris Morris first reported the delay of Microsoft's planned Spring 2009 launch, and Microsoft has also confirmed the delay to BetaNews. Another social aspect of the New Xbox Experience that has been delayed is the ability for multiple users to watch the same Netflix film simultaneously in the same virtual room -- a delay which will come bad news on top of bad news, for a company that just today reduced its subscriber growth forecast for the last quarter a second time.

The Xbox Primetime feature could be unlike anything available on other gaming consoles, and have great potential for driving sales. While the holiday season was the ideal target for launch, families that receive the gift of a new Xbox 360 will just have to settle for the promise of its eventual appearance.

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