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Microsoft to add "community games"


SAN FRANCISCO — The companies that make video-game consoles are opening more avenues for developers — professional and amateur — to create and distribute their games.

With consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo connected to the Internet, games and other content can be downloaded to them, expanding the catalog of titles available for each. These capabilities are becoming a key selling point as they vie for market share and potential revenue.

Microsoft announced a new initiative Wednesday to allow amateur developers to build games for Xbox Live, an online network with more than 10 million subscribers. The development tools for these games also allow them to be run on a PC and, eventually, Microsoft's portable digital media player, Zune.

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