Sony PlayStation will soon have a Smash Bros. clone, a game called PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale that lets its most famous characters beat each other up. Why? Because it was a great idea when Nintendo first let Mario, Link, Samus and the rest of its best heroes beat each other up.
Surely, Microsoft should join the fray and make their own?
No way, Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's game studios, told me during an interview at E3.
But first, he played along and tried to brainstorm a roster with me.
"I'd go back to Voodoo Vince," he said. "Voodoo Vince was my favorite. We could have Joannna Dark fighting..."
"...Blinx The Time Sweeper? With the vacuum?" I suggested.
"Crackdown guy?" I offered.
"You could pick some of the Tao Feng fighters and put them together?" (Or, as the website Digital Battle imagines—and as you can see atop this post—all of the fighters could be Halo's Master Chief.)
Was this a confirmation that it was in development? No. The opposite. "You do not want that game," Spencer said. "Have you played the [PlayStation] All-Stars?"
Yes, I said. Even though I was initially cynical about the game, I couldn't help but enjoy it when I recently started playing a pre-release version of it. Once you're having Kratos battling Fat Princess, you realize it's fun.
"I'm not going to take a shot at Sony first-party [game development]," Spencer said, "I think they do some great games. We're going to try to build games that actually create new opportunity on our platform. I don't really need to go and fill genres with the teams that we have. I don't compete with games that are already on my platform. Sure, all games on some level compete for a dollar bill, but for us it's really going to be to try to innovate. I haven't played the game, so I'm not saying it's not innovative, but..."
I finished his sentence. "We're not going to get an Xbox mascot fighter?"
"Sorry," he replied.
We'll have a lot more from our interviews with top people at Xbox, Sony and Nintendo in the days to come.