Microsoft Hints At Xbox 360's 'Entertainment Strategy' Before E3 2011

What does Microsoft have planned for its E3 2011 showing? Probably plenty of Kinect-centric fare and heretofore unannounced (officially anyway) video games. But the company is also teasing a new "entertainment brand" focus for the console and its motion controller.

Frank X. Shaw, corporate VP of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, writes on the Official Microsoft Blog, "For the last 10 years at Microsoft, we've been turning up the heat on how we think about Xbox, and next week at E3 you will get a chance to see how far we've come."

Much of Shaw's posting cheers on the company's console, with sales figures and general feelgoodery about how amazing the Xbox 360 is. But here's where it gets potentially interest (or worrying, for people who only like to play video games on their consoles.

"[S] omething interesting has happened in the last few years," Shaw writes. "While people are still playing a ton of video games, 40 percent of all Xbox activity now is non-game. Put another way, we're seeing an average of 30 hours of video consumption per month per Xbox, a number that is growing fast. And people are expecting more – more options, more games, more videos, more entertainment."

Shaw continues:

The vision for Xbox is straightforward: All of the entertainment you want. With the people you care about. Made easy. That is why you've seen us invest in partnerships with ESPN, Netflix and Hulu. That is why we've baked social directly into the experience with Xbox LIVE – connecting gamers, friends and families across the globe. That is why you'll see Xbox marketed more as an entertainment brand this year. And that is why we're investing so much in Natural User Interface technologies (speech, touch, gestures) to make the entertainment experience that much easier-and more fun. With Kinect, we've made NUI real for millions of people, and we've only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible.

Of course, we'll be covering Microsoft's E3 2011 keynote next Monday where we'll know more, but if you'd like to speculate about what "entertainment" means in terms of new Xbox 360 features, please take it to the comments.

Xbox: Now That's Entertainment [The Official Microsoft Blog]


Comments

    so, can my kinect understand when i tell it to turn on/off/play movie/pause movie etc or was that NUI a non-core promise? And how about being able to use a NUI sitting down, or using the NUI in a small room?

    catchphrases like "NUI" mean nothing if the experience we are having is a bit shit.

    how about a NUI that addresses the complaints the hardcore has had about the d-pad since launch? That should have been a simple change to the dpad, but nooooo! *sigh*

      bitter, bitter, Sony (can't access the PSN store) fanboy...lol...mentioning all those things 99% of us don't give 2 shits about.
      Your funny. Pathetic, but funny.

        Really? THIS comment got approved?

          A lot of comments get approved on this site. Same with giz as well.

          Comments are moderated usually to suit the author's opinions rather than language, abuse, etc.
          It's just become a silly forum with a constant "i disagree" attitude.

          Hell, i wouldn't be surprised if this comment got approved!

      1. Kinect works while seated.
      2. Voice controls are available for kinect, but there are accent-based restrictions that are slowing down the rollout. MS have already promised the voice controls shown at the previous e3, and MORE, will be available for each region and language.
      3. NUI has nothing to do with the dPad, you troll. And while this is a legitimate design issue for the official controller, there are a dozen high-quality 3rd party controllers with improved dPad support. Or, you can also fix the problem entirely by just sanding down the bank around the dPad on an official controller.

      The only semi-legit complaint in your troll roll is the room size one, and honestly, my kinect works in the small space between my desk and my bed in my bedroom.

        I believe the accent restrictions excuse has been busted. Somehow, maybe changing region settings on the console, Australian users have managed to enable to the voice commands and they easily recognise the Australian accent. I don't know why Microsoft is still sitting on this feature, it was a core part of their advertising for kinect.

        I agree that the d-pad isn't exactly related, but I guess the OP was trying to point out that MS doesn't always fix obvious issues with their systems. You shouldn't have to go and buy a third party controller to get a d-pad that works properly, the one on the controller should and if it doesn't it should get fixed. If the triggers didn't work properly you can imagine the amount of rage MS would get from FPS fans.

          I'm a Aussie gamer and kinect voice control doenst work when you go online it changes the back to Australia region

      "and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible."

      That is the sentence you seemed to have missed.

      With the Kinect SDK on the way and what people have already done with it, your issues are likely to be solved. At least the Kinect was innovative and has actual potential unlike a certain knock-off of the Wiimote. Give it time.

      As for the d-pad, it's a nuisance but the amount of games on the market that are directly affected by it are minimal at best. Plus, there are third party options.

        I keep thinking of this

        http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/1225003210_Hd5Ci-L.jpg

          Exactly where my mind was. :P

          Really, the kinect was innovative and useful the "certain knockoff of the wiimote" (PS Move is presume) is much more useful,it actually has buttons, there are only a certain number of ways you can hold your body to do things. Now don't get me wrong, I believe both are completely useless but just for your information, that "innovative" kinect you speak of is a complete rip off of the PS Eyetoy, just with better graphics and a **** load more marketing behind it. The only thing it has that is more useful is voice commands, wait...

            Comparing the PS EyeToy to the Kinect is like comparing a toy Matchbox car to the it's real-life equivalent. The tech behind it and how it works is incredibly different where as the Move only has some really minor differences from the Wiimote, most of which are superficial i.e. less buttons, the off-hand controller not being wired to the main-hand controller etc.

            Also, if you actually look into what the Kinect has been used for outside of gaming you'll see that it is indeed innovative and far from useless.

              Actually, comparing EyeToy to Kinect is actually more like comparing 8 year old tech to 1 year old tech.

              For all the cool stuff that has been done with Kinect hacks, as far as gaming goes it's provided about the same amount of value as EyeToy i.e. bugger all. Move has been no better, although that at least has the saving grace that they've bolted that on to some actual good games where you can use it for about half an hour before the novelty wears off and you go back to the standard controller because that's much better.

    I think they need to back off the Kinect train a little bit at this expo. Sure, market it, and devote a good slice of their presentation to it, but if I get just a fist full of casual games at E3 from MS then consider my interest nil. Plus they need to turn their eye off America for a second and actually really work on getting us other countries some cool/free functionality. There are multiple services i'd like to see integrated with live, such as ABC's internet show viewer. Hell, it'd be awesome if they could get Good Game on Live weekly for us Australians.

      "Plus they need to turn their eye off America for a second and actually really work on getting us other countries some cool/free functionality"

      This is what I would really like to see. Unfortunately I don't think it would really be possible, the services I am interested in such as Hulu and Netflix don't exist here like they do in America so we can't get access to these. We will have to wait until either they come to us, or a company offering a similar service starts up over here and maybe MS will make a deal with them.

        THIS is my issue with the MS Strategy. They make me SOO excited about the new functions and then only 10% is available here.
        I know we are a small market at the ass end of the world but something new that is NOT just for the US would be nice.

    "we’re seeing an average of 30 hours of video consumption per month per Xbox, a number that is growing fast"

    I wonder how much of that is Foxtel, Netflix et al, and how much is just people streaming torrents from their PC!?

      Isn't something like 20% of the net traffic in the US is now Netflix? 30 hours per month seems reasonable.

    The only thing I'd use the Kinect for would be for motion capture for 3DS Max. I can't imagine myself playing Dance Central, or any other ridiculous family games on it.

    @shaddapp, 99% of people don't care about the NUI? For what reason did you buy the Kinect for, then?

    So in the end, what content will be coming to Australia? He highlights ESPN, Netflix and Hulu, none of which are available here. We've got Foxtel, but surely they can do more local deals? It's my one gripe with this 'entertainment strategy' - it's like a competition, that can only be entered by people from the continental states of America.

      on the plus side, Hulu is rumoured to be looking at launching in Australia. That may shake things up.

      if it actually does launch, and not launch crippled.

        Any links for Hulu coming to Aus? I would really like to see that.

      What other local deals could Microsoft strike up other than Foxtel?

        ABC, Seven and Ten all have an online presence.

          What would be the point? The majority of content on Seven and Ten is already on Foxtel. As for ABC, they've got a great online presence but do they draw in the numbers to actually make them a partner Microsoft would see a profit in?

        I get its hard for MS as they are just providing access to services and where they are available in the world is out of their control.

        There are still some things that are completely in their court and still not available worldwide though which makes it feel like the rest of world are simply an after thought for MS. Indie games and voice controls for Kinect are prime examples.

          I believe the problem for Indie Games was classification. Correct me if anyone knows better but every game on the indie channel would have to apply to get classified here, which is a costly process, and for an indie title the cost may not be worth the extra sales.

          Another thing that is disappointing out of Microsoft's hands, so we can't really do anything about it.

            But that shouldn't be an issue, now that the classification board has bypassed the 'app store' style games... surely XBL-IG would be umbrellad under the same guidlines.

    Meh. Like all MSFT products, anything outside of the US will be crippled as feck.

    No thanks

    I want to see improved hardware for even better graphics. Give developers even more room to run.

    why can I log into my US account and use Kinect voice commands no problem and yet, here in Australia we still don't have the function that was certainly going to be available by March...wondering if they meant 2012 (sarcasm)When is it coming here Microsoft??

    I personally think the only thing that Microsoft needs to do to improve their media experience right now is get some more content onto Xbox Live for Australia and optimise Windows Media Centre. I like using my computer to connect to my TV without connecting it via HDMI, but its a pain in the arse that it takes ages to move from one tab to another on the home screen.

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