Mix in support for Achievements (attract a certain number of one type of piñata to your garden and you might get a reward, for instance) and the Xbox Live Marketplace (download accessories and outfits, then force the poor piñatas to wear them) and Viva Piñata becomes one of those titles that could touch on everything the 360 wants to do and be. And honestly, watching the demo, the game has promise, regardless of your age - it's a non-violent god-style game with as much or as little micromanagement as you choose.
While candy-filled critters aren't something most people would have guessed would be the spokesthings for the next generation of gaming, Microsoft feels this has the potential to be a signature franchise. "It's very important to appeal to a broader audience early in the lifecycle," says Kim, noting that Microsoft feels Viva Piñata has the potential to reach even more players than Halo. The company's got a lot invested in this multimedia franchise already, and they're banking on it being something special. Says Kim, "You don't stumble on to these too often."