Microsoft’s Answer To Nintendo’s Super Guide

By Spencer . November 23, 2009 . 10:40am

image Nintendo made waves with the Super Guide autoplay system in New Super Mario Bros. Wii., but they aren’t the only company developing in-game guides.


Microsoft has been working on a system that’s part Super Guide and part Demon’s Souls for well over a year. A patent filed by Andre Vrignaud, Director Games Platform Strategy at Microsoft, reveals a plan to assist gamers during difficult parts with help from other players. When a player gets stuck the game looks up the problem spot, accesses a database, and brings up a list of user submitted tips and guides. After absorbing the collective information players, with some more practice, should be able to pass the challenge.


The patent mentions this service will utilize Xbox Live, but it isn’t clear if it will be free or for Xbox Live Gold Members only.


On paper, it sounds like in-game FAQs. So, why would authors want to use this? Microsoft’s game guide system mentions a robust authoring system which allows players to capture screenshots, video clips, and annotate them with a digital pencil. Authors may even be able to add audio commentary and tag situations, objects, and items. Tags will be used to link tips to specific game situations. Developers will be able to created guides too, which can be starred or weighed higher than user created guides.


Microsoft’s community focused plan has potential, especially for achievement hunters, but it also has a chicken and egg problem. Popular series like Halo will have tons of tips. No problem there. However, smaller games — perhaps games to difficult for the masses, won’t have as large of a community.

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  • fallen

    Man, if only Microsoft would copy something useful. Like, working consoles.

    • EdgeKun

      Yeah, man. If only my Falcon Elite was still working and problem-free.

      Oh wait. It is.

      • fallen

        So was mine.

      • Completely useless post.

        • EdgeKun

          And the one I replied to somehow wasn’t?

          Hard to see it as anything other than unnecessary fanboy trolling.

          • thebanditking

            Your right the original post was pointless, so then dont respond to it. The 360 breaks, and as far as build quality goes its a total POS. There is no defending it, no way to justify it. That sucks but its the truth. People buy it despite this, and it has plenty of good games, but that doesnt mean its not a poorly made console (I wish the ones I have had never broke either). Can we get back on point now?Im not seeing the point to this really, I find the “super guide” pretty stupid too, so its not a real surprise that I dont care. For a game like Demon Souls it was cool because no one ever did somethign like that before but there are too many DH’s on XBL for an “open community” help system to work for every game. Though if its just text based help it might be useful for new gamers.

    • thebanditking

      Did you really need to say that? all it does is cause problems. The 360 breaks its OLD news, like 4 years old.

      • fallen

        Did I need to say it, no; but my 360 just red-ringed and I’m raging.

  • badmoogle

    Wow,what a blatant copy of Demon’s Souls.:O

  • MadMirko

    As always with user-generated content, the moderation will be important & tedious. It will take about 5 seconds until the first funny guy draws penises on screenshots and calls you a fag for not being able to complete a certain situation on your own.

  • Aoshi00

    Bayonetta’s one hand control scheme :)?

    I have yet to encounter New Super Mario Bros Wii’s super guide yet, since I’ve playing it w/ my sis (co-op is fun!) I could imagine dying quite a bit in some stages playing alone.

    Resorting to such help would be my last resort, but these tips and help from developer are much appreciated in order to avoid unnecessary hair pulling or controller throwing.

    • Heh, yeah that’s another solution! I like how anyone can play Bayonetta. Sure it’s not the same experience with easy operation, but I can see new gamers having a blast with it.

      Microsoft’s approach seems geared towards core gamers and will save FAQ searching computer trips.

  • I think this idea actually sounds awesome , its like an inbuilt gamefaqs and 360achievements now

  • microcrapownsu

    aww i love how microsoft comes up with their own ideas. I just love it!

  • tommy payne

    anyone have any other info on this from any other sources?

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