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Microsoft: Consumers using Xbox Live for media more than gaming
Microsoft: Consumers using Xbox Live for media more than gaming
March 27, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

March 27, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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    26 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Households are spending an increasing amount of time with the Xbox 360's online platform -- and they spend more than half of their time watching videos and listening to music, instead of playing games.

The popularity of Xbox Live's entertainment offerings is evidence that Microsoft's "trojan horse" strategy for its Xbox 360, which aims to set up the gaming system as a digital media hub installed in people's living rooms, is working.

"What we're seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment," said Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division SVP Yusuf Mehdi, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Consumers spend an average of 84 hours a month on Xbox Live playing online games, and checking out videos and music -- 30 percent more than they spent a year ago. For comparison, households spend about 150 hours a month watching TV on average.

They have three dozen entertainment applications to choose from on Xbox Live, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, MLB.tv, HBO Go, and Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity on demand video service (the latter three released on the service today).

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Xbox 360 is "still [about] games.. but [it's] morphing, changing." He noted that its Kinect motion control peripheral is playing a big part in turning the console into an entertainment hub.


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Comments


k s
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MS's greater interest in TV/Movies and lesser interest in gaming is partly why I'm switching to Wii U for my main gaming platform next generation.

Omar Gonzalez
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PC is where is at.

Vu Nguyen
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Wii U. lolololol

k s
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@Omar I prefer gaming on a console, I'll continue to use my PC for developing games, watching movies, surfing the web, etc.

Omar Gonzalez
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Okey... just saying you know, Considering consoles are glorified PCs. But, hey man more power to you!

Craig Page
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Switching to PS4 or PC would make more sense, unless you want to trade Call of Duty 8 for Mario Brothers 28 and Zelda 17.

Omar Gonzalez
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With $60 dollars 6 hours campaign THE GAME, of course they are.

John Flush
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"What we're seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment,"

Very true. Everyone wants a Tivo, but no one actually 'wants' a Tivo if you get what I'm saying. This way they can buy one, but it plays games too every so often.

John McMahon
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Funny, I've actually cancelled my subscription to Netflix last year and haven't bothered with any of the new "apps". It would be better if I could write my own apps for the platform instead of it being sent to the Indie game section...

Jonathan Murphy
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This is what worries me about next gen consoles. They brag about having Comcast on launch rather than a must buy exclusive launch game. If Microsoft dominates next console generation this is your future. Mobile apps, TV channels, and glorious Kinect 2.

Evan Combs
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I agree. I understand what they want the xbox to be, and I don't disagree with it, but I'm worried they are going to forget about gaming and treat it as second fiddle to everything else.

Eric Schwarz
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It's because consolidation is threatening traditional games consoles and everyone knows it - so far Microsoft is the only big company to really admit to it by trying to offer much more than just gaming on their platform.

Fact is that the argument for an Xbox 720 or 1080 is becoming less and less interesting as time goes on. Smartphones and tablets are getting more and more commonplace and powerful, and in a couple years you'll have better-than-Xbox-quality visuals on your iPad 5. As soon as someone makes a tablet that interfaces with an HDTV and accepts separate gamepads, consoles are going to look extremely outdated.

Jeremie Sinic
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I have to agree with Eric Schwarz here.

The fact that the 360 is growing old makes it hard to impress with better graphics, so Microsoft has to find something else to captivate the audience and win the battle for our living rooms.

When the 360 was released, it was quite competitive with PCs of the time in terms of power/price. There were not many PC games that "owned" the 360 back then.
Now after purchasing a gaming PC late last year I felt the same way I did when I upgraded to the 360 from the legacy Xbox.

I believe Steam is going to score big with hardcore (and less hardcore) gamers who want cutting edge graphics and can't wait another one or two years for a new console.
On the other end of the hardcore-casual spectrum, many users are going to feel like their mobile phones and tablet power is getting on par with current consoles and will see less and less justification to get a dedicated home console.

Omar Gonzalez
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@Eric I couldn't agree more, It is getting harder by the day for me to justify a console for gaming, considering they have sub-par experience compared to a PC.

Truth is I'm wasting more time reading books, and playing strategy games on my iPad than playing console games. It is only a matter of time for someone figure it out: Let tablets connect to a HDTV please!

But hey consoles still make a great media hub, I suppose.

Ujn Hunter
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If someone enters the Next Gen Console Market with a machine that strictly plays games, they have my money. The current generation of consoles that clog up my TV with Ads and other useless junk really turn me off.

k s
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Part of why I'm switching to Wii U as my primary platform next gen is gaming will be a bigger focus then on the next Xbox or the next playstation.

Matt Ployhar
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As Consoles become more PC-like... why not just get a PC? It's amazing what you can get now for the $.

If I drop down $50-60 for a game like Skyrim, I find I'm able to get more bang for my buck playing it on a PC as I can seriously play that game anywhere on my laptop. I LOVE my HDMI cable & Wireless Gamepad! Couch, Bed, Airport, you name it, I'm able to have a great experience.

If Consoles are becoming glorified DVR Boxes... I'm not interested. It's another superfluous device draining power out of my wall and cluttering my AV shelf.

Ujn Hunter
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My biggest issue with PC gaming as opposed to Console gaming is that Console games are designed for specific hardware and run exactly as the developer intended. On the PC depending on any number of thousands of different factors, the game either runs sluggishly or it looks bad because you need to turn down certain settings, etc... PC gaming has never been a smooth, fun experience for me. On a Console, you just pop in a disc and play... no problems (unless your Console is a PS3).

Matthew Mouras
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Exactly.... this line of thinking is why Valve talking about entering the "console" space had me so confused. Why is everyone rushing to the same muddy middle?

Do we need a PS4, Xbox 720, Valvebox that all fill the same role?

k s
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@ Ujn that's the exact same reason I prefer console gaming, plus I prefer a gamepad to mouse and keyboard.

Jeremie Sinic
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@Ujn
I agree with you partly but I think it's less and less true, as games are developed first for consoles these days, which makes them usually easy to run on an average PC (and usually with better graphics). See Skyrim: it's designed for the 360, meaning you can run it on most PCs available today, and if you have an above average GPU, you can ramp up the details.
And with the consoles needing install to play (on 360, because of the DVD player and fan noise + avoiding swapping discs, on PS3 because it usually sucks otherwise or you just have to), I don't find consoles so convenient anymore.
With Steam I have all my games ready to launch with a click, and @k s my 360 pad is recognized by most games. Valve has effectively brought the serenity of console gaming to PC imo.
I was a supporter of console gaming until recently, but after almost 7 years with my 360(s), I am glad I upgraded to keep up with today's graphics. Graphics aren't everything of course, and the good thing is that PC gaming provides much more than that (free mods, to begin with).

Alex Leighton
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I keep my 360 unplugged nowadays, and I can't really say when the last time I turned it on was, probably a month or two after Forza 4 came out. My PS3 gets some use still, but I haven't bought anything for it in several months. I never really thought I would go back to being a PC only gamer, but that's what seems to be happening, it's just so much better. If only dumb DRM schemes would become a thing of the past.

Jeremie Sinic
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Same here:
Decided to buy a PC when Skyrim was released (as I was on Forza 4), then barely used my 360 ever since. And I am repeating it: I was a console fan since the SEGA Genesis/Megadrive...

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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Just hook up a WindowZ computer(Desktop/Laptop/Tablet) to your tv and call it a day. The problem with that is tv's usually don't come with a VGA slot(Which is the default for a computer). Which means you'd need a real graphics card, which usually doesn't come with the computer...

But really, a computer can do so much more if you can hook it to your tv or just cave and use a monitor. You don't even need to buy a decent computer, a $100/300 computer will do everything and play most web games and some 3D games. And that was a computer a few years ago... So, today should be cake.

Beyond doing everything, gaming is still gaming... You need a computer with a graphics card for PC games, a Wii for Wii games, an X-BoX for 360 games, a PS3 for PS3 games, handhelds...

John McMahon
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What do you mean by WindowZ? Or do you just mean Windows but with a 'z'?I don't like being on my computer all day. Heck, I don't like being on the computer all day. I like to go out and enjoy life instead of sitting ini front of some screen.

I still play games and I am a programmer so I do get on the computer, but the last thing I want to do after work is get on the computer I need to decompress.

Tadhg Kelly
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"Consumers spend an average of 84 hours a month on Xbox Live playing online games, and checking out videos and music"

This is a number I'd like to see broken down more. For example, what's the median (rather than the mean), what does "checking out videos and music" mean?


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