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Microsoft taking a 'multiplatform' approach to game development across many devices and competitors, says VP

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Microsoft isn't just competing with fellow console makers Nintendo and Sony, but with tablet, smartphone and web developers, according to Phil Harrison, Microsoft's vice president of interactive entertainment business, Gamesindustry.biz reports.

Harrison spoke at the London Games Conference, where he said that Microsoft as focused on multiple devices, not just limited to its homegrown console.

"We are now really a multiplatform studio," he said. "We are not just building games for Xbox 360, we're building experiences for smart glass, we're building dedicated games for Windows Phone 8 and for Windows 8."

As an example of that approach in action, Harrison said that Microsoft developed about 30 of the games released around Windows 8's launch.

The widening scope also means more competitors from successful indie developers to companies like Apple and its iOS App Store. That's a challenge he embraces.

"We think this expands our competitive map," he said. "We're no longer just competing with the traditional console companies, but our competitive landscape includes the likes of Google, the likes of Amazon, it includes obviously the likes of Apple."

Harrison framed the company's approach as an adaptation leveraged by Windows 8 and related technologies.

"We are trying to build a new kind of studio," he said. "We describe it as being a 21st Century studio."

Harrison joined Microsoft earlier this year "as corporate vice president with an emphasis on growing the division’s European business," according to a press release announcing his hire. Before Microsoft, Harrison worked at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he served as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios.