xbox live

Will Microsoft beat Apple and Google to make Connected TV work?

Microsoft and Comcast recently announced that Xbox Live users will now be able to stream on-demand Comcast Xfinity content through their gaming consoles. It’s been insinuated by some that Microsoft is making some form of payment to Comcast for the deal.

This doesn’t seem outlandish. The 20 million paying Xbox Live users (out of 66 million Xbox 360 units sold) now spend slightly more time streaming content than they do playing video games. Microsoft will keep stoking this trend, pushing its hardware further into the profitable mainstream of entertainment content consumption.

But, will the Xbox grow up to become a more dominant mode of delivery?

Could the future of Xbox Live be ‘g-commerce’?

Microsoft will tomorrow release an update to its Xbox 360 console that will allow users to use it to watch TV.

This will position the Xbox as an all-in-one entertainment hub for the living room, incorporating games, movies, TV, music and sports.

A key feature is the integration of Kinect, which adds voice search to the entertainment experience – with Windows Phones available to use as a controller.

Kinect could be Microsoft’s ticket to addressable advertising on your TV

Kinect living roomWith movies from Netflix, games from ESPN, music from, and status updates from
Twitter, Microsoft has evolved the Xbox 360 into a premium content
delivery device, not just a game console. Now, with its new Kinect
motion-controller system, the company has the means to turn the Xbox 360
into a hyper-targeted ad platform.

After all, Kinect can recognize
different users by their faces.

Social media meets Xbox Live

The convergence of the television and the web has been promised for more than a decade now. Anyone remember Microsoft’s acquisition of WebTV in 1997?

There were good reasons at the time to see the potential of a marriage between the internet and the TV, and there still are. Like a lot of predictions, however, this one was a bit premature. But is now the time?

1 vs 100 on Xbox LIVE is the future of gaming

If you’re an aging Gen Y’er like me, you probably remember playing Super Mario Brothers on your brand spanking new Nintendo and thinking that technology just couldn’t get much better. Fast forward. Today’s gaming devices put Ataris, Nintendos and Segas to shame and thanks to the internet, the gaming experience is more interactive and social than ever before.

And if a new initiative from Microsoft and Endemol is any indication, today’s gaming experience is only going to get more interactive and social.

Is Microsoft’s Xbox strategy paying off?

Microsoft announced yesterday that it enjoyed its most successful year ever for the Xbox in 2008, with the number of users growing to 28m worldwide, increasing its lead over Sony’s rival PS3 console to 8m units.

More significantly perhaps, is the 84% year on year increase in sales via Xbox Live, which suggests that, despite lagging behind the Wii in terms of the number of consoles sold, its online strategy is paying dividends.