Microsoft executive Shane Kim says content key in involving more people into gaming

"The real opportunity for everyone is to figure out how to introduce interactive entertainment to the masses, the people who don't participate today even on a casual gaming basis," Kim, general manager for Microsoft Game Studios, said Wednesday.

He spoke in an interview just ahead of the Seoul Digital Forum 2006, which brings together leading industry technology figures including Kim's boss, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer and Qualcomm Inc. CEO Paul Jacobs over three days through Friday, the AP reports.

Microsoft's Xbox 360, which debuted last year, is expected to be challenged for space on store shelves later this year by Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii systems, the AP reports.

"If the industry doesn't continue to innovate that is the biggest threat to our future and to our success," Kim said. "We are on the cusp of interactive entertainment truly blossoming into a mainstream form of entertainment. That's an opportunity that will be seized by the boldest companies."

The gaming industry has grown from the clunky hardware and simple content of the 1970s into the sleek versions of today, becoming a huge force with total sales topping Hollywood's domestic box office receipts.

Microsoft Game Studios employees nearly 1,000 programmers, designers, artists and producers who develop games for Xbox 360 and those that can be played on a computer using Windows.