Friday, June 12, 2009

The Xbox 360's entertainment center

Kotaku has asked the question "When will it be wrong to call the Xbox 360 a game console?"

With the advent of new features including Facebook, Last.fm, and (more importantly) Netflix support, its clear that the 360 is becoming a more capable unit in the entertainment space.  The NXE is probably the biggest step the 360 has made to make itself more accessible to the members of your family that aren't the primary users of the 360.

Last year, after the launch of the Netflix streaming service, my mom was watching The Office with me on the Xbox.  After I was done watching, she asked me what else the streaming service could do.  I promptly loaded up episodes of 30 Rock and she was blown away.  While the discs that come in the mail can lay stagnate (often frequently), having the Netflix library at the touch of a button made so much more sense (especially with the heavy use of the DVR in my house).

While I agree that these are definitely steps away from the traditional home video game console model, they're still derivative of what console gamers do on a regular basis, especially those playing games in High Definition.  If you have an HD TV, you definitely have a high speed internet connection, and I don't know too many people who have those things and are unlikely to have Netflix subscriptions.  In addition, I think most Xbox 360 users are internet-savvy enough to have a Facebook account and a Last.fm account.  These services, while widening the capabilities of the Xbox 360, do not change the entire console model.

What is more interesting to me is the advent of Xbox Live Primetime, and the way that the console will take the stage after dinner in the living room instead of primetime television.  I'm eager to see the program come out of beta, but I doubt if I or anyone I know will ever be able to take center stage to win some Microsoft points.

1 comment:

  1. Wow crazy entertainment units! We bought a Entertainment Centers from Spacify that’s has fabulous features.

    ReplyDelete