Microsoft just announced a bold plan to conquer consumers’ living rooms -- and, thus, a big chunk of their media diet -- with the Xbox.
“Calling it the future of TV, Microsoft is unveiling a new user interface for the Xbox 360′s dashboard,” along with dozens of new options for watching movies and TV on the console, Games Beat reports. “The update is one of the biggest in the past five years for the Xbox 360 because Microsoft is trying to improve the experience of watching entertainment.”
“In an [online] ecosystem where Apple, Google and Facebook suck out nearly all of the oxygen, Microsoft is making a strong case for its own ubiquity outlasting the decline of its OS and office software,” writes Forbes. “XBox’s latest iterations might make Microsoft dangerous again.”
“A new era in entertainment begins where all your entertainment is together in one place -- your games, movies, TV shows, music and sports,” Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said in a statement released this weekend.
Seeming to agree, Forrester’s James McQuivey writes in paidContent: “It’s time to put old notions of interactive TV behind us because this week Microsoft will release a user experience update to the Xbox 360 that will do for the TV what decades of promises and industry joint ventures have never managed to pull off.”
Regarding the new Xbox and reports of an Apple TV in development, The New York Times’ Nick Bilton writes: “The television, which has changed only aesthetically since its invention, is about to be completely disrupted by these new interfaces.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft is also launching a new app for Windows Phone handsets to help Xbox 360 owners navigate their game console. “The new mobile phone software continues Microsoft’s strategy to unify and extend its ecosystem,” GigaOm write. “No other smartphone platform has such a direct link to a video game console.”