During E3, Microsoft invited us to suffer through a 30-minute Xbox Live marketing spiel (we were lured by the promise of Xbox Live Arcade content -- there wasn't any), puffed with ridiculous figures like the 3 billion hours we've spent collectively on Xbox Live as a community that will soon surpass America's largest city, New York, in total population. Xbox Live general manager JJ Richards acted out these statistics with sweeping gestures and broad smiles, and an air of braggadocio. It was JJ's job to make sure we left that room knowing Microsoft commanded the leading online service for consoles. We did (though we knew it already, thank you).
JJ was there to demonstrate that Microsoft had fulfilled all of its goals and then some since the last E3, using terminology like "neighborhoods" and "districts" to imagine for us a bustling virtual metropolis catering to all types of consumers. He spoke of a "bridge" that had been erected across the ever-flowing void to Windows, connecting an untapped community of gamers to the Xbox Live vision. But further down the void, a second bridge, still under construction, has stalled. When we brought up the topic of Xbox Live for mobile, JJ became visibly peeved, as if we had just smudged the picturesque canvas he was painting aloud. He dodged the topic, firing off some jargon about "pacing" before getting back to the success story.
Microsoft has been busy expanding Xbox Live into Games for Windows Live and the apparently groundbreaking Video Marketplace. So it's not surprising that the mobile aspect, complicated by numerous variables, has been removed from the vision's foreground. But we're still curious. After all, back at that last E3, we had seen a working prototype of mobile Live Anywhere, through which PR man John Porcaro was able to browse our Gamertag profile using his phone. It's exciting technology that the community could use. No rush, but we'd appreciate an actual update. How about it, Microsoft?