Never mind that real game show contestants don't watch commercials during commercial breaks, virtual game show contestants on Microsoft's recently beta-released Xbox game "1 vs. 100" will be forced to watch commercials. (Among those already running are spots by Honda, Sprint, 7-11, and Doritos.) The "add to the realism," said Jeanie DuMont, a senior product planner for Xbox Live advertising.
The game is part of a push to extend Xbox's appeal beyond the young male demographic; similar games will follow. As you know, Microsoft has an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better approach (see, e.g., Mp3 players, search engines, the Xbox itself). And thus we arrive at our money quote. Microsoft is not just 110% focused on the project. "Our focus is 120 percent on 1 vs. 100," said Manuel Bronstein, the director of Xbox Live Primetime. I can't wait til Microsoft starts making amplifiers; the 11 barrier will surely be shattered.