How Xbox One Will Change The Home Entertainment Experience

Xbox OneMicrosoft will be launching Xbox One in a few months, hoping to convert its game console into a customized family entertainment system. The new console will arrange applications based on each family member’s taste, while users will be able to rapidly switch between games, TV, movies and music through voice commands and have the apps running simultaneously in multiple windows. Zintro experts share their opinion on Microsoft’s potential success as a leading home entertainment system.

According to Andrew Walker, business development consultant for video games, Microsoft has definitely raised the importance of TV integration to the same level as games for the Xbox. “It seems quite clear from the announcement that Microsoft is betting the farm on Xbox One becoming the defacto Family Entertainment Center. Indeed they have discontinued many of the features that indie game developers loved about the Xbox 360. What they have delivered is a sophisticated Tivo-like Cable Box that plays high quality games. If Microsoft can deliver on their promises of tight relationships with cable providers, it could revolutionize the living room experience,” he explains. “The Kinect motion sensor is so amazingly sensitive that it can detect your facial expressions and your heart rate. However, the challenges facing Xbox One and world domination are huge. Xbox has been solidly a game console since its inception in 2001.” Walker also suggests Microsoft to first convince the casual or non-gamer that the device belongs under the TV in order to capture the living room market. “This will be in direct competition with smaller and cheaper devices, which will provide all of the streaming services at a fraction of the cost. Microsoft is positioning itself as the premium option in a war where price matters above all else. The lack of mobile integration is also troubling,” adds Walker. “Apple and Google are readying TV-strategies with iPhone/Android strategies built-in and both companies are already better positioned to attract the mainstream consumer. Microsoft has delivered a technological marvel, but it will find it difficult to win over cost-conscious consumers and break out of their gamer-centric legacy.”

As software product manager, Henry Rahr points out, the launch of Xbox One represents one of the oldest marketing techniques, which applies the existing technology and sells based solely on targeted marketing. “Is it an invention? No. Is it innovating? Yes. We’ve had multimedia gaming consoles for years. Personally, I use a leading gaming console as the backbone of my home entertainment. So how does Microsoft circumvent this obvious lack of invention and create new value in a saturated space? By carefully constructing the UI that lays over the top,” notes Rahr. “The greater consumer audience continually demonstrates purchase preference by gravitating towards these seamless multifunctional products over an integrated bundle of products. Each component of the integrated bundle may provide superior performance, but immediately diminishes in value by requiring the user to blend the components for the overall experience.”

By Idil Kan

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