Microsoft Bolster Xbox Entertainment Options
While E3 is generally held as a time for the gaming industry to look forward to what games and hardware will be talked about for the next year, Microsoft made sure to give plenty of attention to the future of its non-gaming entertainment options at this year's conference.
First up, the company detailed a heaping of new media partnerships for its Xbox Live platform, including Nickelodeon, Paramount, and Machinima, among others. With Microsoft trying its hardest to bring in the most diverse audience possible, bringing in a children's entertainment giant such as Nickelodeon for the kids or a YouTube-focused company like Machinma for those loyal viewers seems to be a logical next step for the company's overall agenda.
On the sports front, Microsoft detailed an upgraded partnership with ESPN, which will now see 24-7 streaming content from the sports channel brought to the 360. In addition, NBA League Pass and NHL GameCenter will provide additional sporting events to a service which already includes MLB.TV and UFC on the console.
Finally, a vastly upgraded music service will be coming to the Xbox 360, as Xbox Music will allow users to share and listen to over 30 million songs on their 360s, phones, tablets, and PCs. That would appear to mark the end for the Zune service.
All of this is just to further reinforce the idea that Microsoft truly wants Xbox 360 owners to see their consoles as not "just a gaming console," but an all-encompassing entertainment hub. While certain gamers may have contentions about that approach, it cannot be denied that the company is committed to sticking by its guns.
By Jeff Dunn