Xbox Live '2 from 6' in an increasingly irregular schedule

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There's no Xbox Live release this Wednesday. There was no Xbox Live release last Wednesday. If Microsoft were dropping the ball before Christmas with a 50% strike rate on midweek releases, then with the batting dropping to .333 all is not well in the gaming department of Windows Phone.

From our previous editorial on AAWP:

For good or for ill, the perception (which in the end is all that counts) is that Xbox Live is weekly. And when there isn't a weekly release, it's both incredibly noticeable and actually damages the whole Windows Phone platform.

Trust is an important commodity in the smartphone world. Users need to trust their phones will work when they pull them out of their pocket; they need to trust that they can do all the things they want to do with their phone; they need to trust the third party developers, networks, and manufacturers will continue to support their device at least through the normal two year contract; and above all they need to trust that Microsoft will maintain Windows Phone at all points in its life cycle.

If the users can't trust what they believe to be a core part of the Windows Phone experience, how can they trust the other elements? Trust is a fragile chain that can easily be broken on a platform.

Angry Birds Star Wars
Rovio's Angry Brids "Franchise Tie-in" is one of the few WP8 Xbox Live titles.

And it's not just here in the All About offices that have picked up on this and the long term issues it affects. Here's Paul Acevedo on WP Central:

...the lack of a new game release is the greater tragedy. Since November, we’ve already endured three weeks with no Xbox WP release. Today marks an alarming four weeks without a new game in six weeks’ time. If that happened on Xbox 360, people would call Xbox Live Arcade dead!...

Still, this is the kind of situation that the Xbox WP portfolio planner should have anticipated. Maybe there can’t be a release every single week given Windows Phone’s minority status in the smartphone market. But release-free weeks need to be spread out way, way more than in the last two months. Right now it looks like Xbox WP games are just an afterthought to the platform creator.

Microsoft are the underdog in the smartphone wars, and need to fight for every advantage they can get. Xbox Live is an advantage, but the more it is ignored, the more irregular the schedule, the less effective it becomes.

Source / Credit: Xbox Live in the AAWP App Directory