I’m not a huge fan of gaming consoles becoming a hub for all our media. Microsoft is pushing the Xbox 360 into becoming a machine that can be used to watch TV shows, movies and listening to music. Eventually, it wont be a gaming console, but a hub for media in general. This was one of the main factors on why I thought Microsoft’s presentation at E3 was so weak. They showed off a few games and then started with Kinect and searching the Internet with Bing.
Use your voice to find the entertainment you want instantly -Marc Whitten, General Manager of Xbox LIVE
Bing, Youtube, the UFC, Xbox Live Television and to a certain extent, Kinect Funlabs don’t belong on a gaming console. I would not be surprised if Microsoft’s upcoming console would be referred to as an entertainment console rather than a gaming console. One machine that does everything. I don’t mind that our gaming systems have the capabilities to play videos or music through the use of flashdrives or through our home network, but they shouldn’t be a focus. Companies should not be spending their resources on bringing television shows to our gaming consoles, but instead spend their resources on various ways to improve our gaming experience.
Kinect was a good start for Microsoft, but I do not believe they are taking it in the right direction with what they previewed at E3. Instead of trying to compete with the Nintendo Wii, they should have tried to make something of their own. Having a system that does not use physical controllers is not enough to set you apart from the competition. Is it possible for Microsoft to pull off a console that would be great for gaming and entertainment? Probably. In the end it is all about profits and expanding the companies influence. In the next part, I’ll be delving deeper into this issue with a detailed look at what Microsoft could gain or lose by turning their gaming consoles, into entertainment hubs.