Xbox Not Just for Gamers

Two Christmases ago our big family gift was Xbox Kinect. Normally with a gift like that I'd put family in quotes because we'd all have known that it was really a gift for the kids, but in this case it was a true family gift that's used more by the kids than the parents. Why's that? Because while the kids (our youngest son in particular) use the Xbox as it was originally intended – to play video games – the rest of us use it as an entertainment center. Apparently we aren't the only ones:

As promised, Xbox has rolled out three big content partners, beefing up its role as a big television player in the living room. Starting today, HBO Go (for participating providers), Xfinity and MLB (for subscribers) are debuting on Xbox Live, adding to Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and many more. And marking today’s announcement, Xbox said more people are now using the console for entertainment purposes (TV, movies and music) than gaming. (Emphasis mine)…

As we’ve written several times before, Xbox is television’s largest social network. While these new apps don’t take advantage of many Xbox Live features, the obvious next evolution is to become more social, engaging and connecting subscribers over voice, video and data. The foundation is built, and the scale is there (Xbox sold 426,000 units in February alone). And now it’s just up to developers to evolve a consumption experience to a social experience, tapping the Xbox Live wiring to make it happen. Stay tuned…

It's been obvious for a while that the wall between most households' primary entertainment vehicle (television) and primary information vehicle (computer tied to internet) has been crumbling, but it's fascinating to see how it's happening. In retrospect it makes total sense that the video game console would become the vehicle, but we've been witness to far too many failed "WebTV-ish" experiments to say that it was obvious to many people beforehand.

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