It seems Microsoft really wants the Xbox to be the center of your home entertainment system. According to a report by The Verge, Microsoft will be introducing a new feature that will let its next-generation console interact with a TV and set-top box, just like Google TV does. With all the always-on controversy, this might actually be where it will be primarily used, instead of as a DRM (digital rights management) measure for games. This isn’t entirely clear yet and now the man who started it all, Adam Orth has apparently left Microsoft.
How this feature will work is by taking the cable signal and routing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, which will let the console overlay a UI and extra features. Microsoft is trying to push the Xbox past just being a gaming console into and entertainment hub and already has established partnerships with various content providers.
Though one has to wonder how it will work outside of the United States, where most of these services won’t be accessible. This seems like a major feature for the Xbox and alienating international users doesn’t seem like a good idea after the always-on fiasco. Microsoft has already announced plans to sell its Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson. Moving away from supporting and building software for set-top boxes and fully focusing on its Xbox console.
Furthering the Kinect sensor’s capabilities, it seems that it will be able to detect multiple users simultaneously, while having the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when the viewer turns away. Sounds quite like what Samsung has on its Galaxy smartphones. Previously Microsoft’s research division showed off a few room concepts for the Kinect, expanding the viewing area beyond the TV.
Microsoft is planning an Xbox event in May where the company plans to release details about its next-generation console.
Source: The Verge