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Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

One thing the Xbox should have, that it doesn’t

January 16, 2011 1 comment

The Xbox 360 is versatile. Wanna indulge in the guilty pleasures known as video games? Xbox has it. Wanna watch highlights from last night’s big game that you missed? Xbox has it. Wanna listen to your favorite band and related artists on internet radio? Xbox has it. Wanna video chat with your friend across the country? Xbox can do that. Wanna update your Facebook status or tweet something on Twitter? Xbox can do that. Wanna surf the internet? PS3 and Wii can do that. Wait a second, Microsoft’s game console can’t surf the internet?

Herein lies the issue. Microsoft was established on April 4 in 1975 as a computing company. Their operating system, Windows, has sold billions of copies over the years, amassing an incomprehensible amount of revenue. Their success has created four billionaires and 12,000 millionaires from within their employee pool. Within the last decade they have diversified, creating the Xbox and its successor the Xbox 360 as well as portable media player brand Zune and a mobile phone OS Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7. Both the Zune and their mobile OS have internet browsing capabilities, but the Xbox does not. The biggest computer company on the planet has withheld the ability to surf the internet on their gaming console. Ironic.

Its not an issue of can or can not, for both of the Xbox’s competitors as well as hackers have been able to load internet browsers onto their game consoles. The Nintendo Wii’s computing power is weak in comparison to that of the Xbox 360, yet the console allows for fairly smooth navigation online. The PS3, however, is more powerful so it does not come as a surprise that it also has an internet browser. In addition to flexing its computing muscle, the Xbox has internet-enabled applications that are built into the OS. Netflix, ESPN, Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm are all accessible when you’re connected to the internet. Oh, and one more thing. Xbox LIVE. The online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service that requires the internet? The service that millions use on a daily basis to interact with each other. That too, is an internet-driven Microsoft force.

So why, Microsoft? Why, Xbox 360 team? We want an internet browser. We know you can, and that you should. I mean, come on, everyone else is doing it.

One thing the Xbox should have, that it doesn't

January 16, 2011 1 comment

The Xbox 360 is versatile. Wanna indulge in the guilty pleasures known as video games? Xbox has it. Wanna watch highlights from last night’s big game that you missed? Xbox has it. Wanna listen to your favorite band and related artists on internet radio? Xbox has it. Wanna video chat with your friend across the country? Xbox can do that. Wanna update your Facebook status or tweet something on Twitter? Xbox can do that. Wanna surf the internet? PS3 and Wii can do that. Wait a second, Microsoft’s game console can’t surf the internet?

Herein lies the issue. Microsoft was established on April 4 in 1975 as a computing company. Their operating system, Windows, has sold billions of copies over the years, amassing an incomprehensible amount of revenue. Their success has created four billionaires and 12,000 millionaires from within their employee pool. Within the last decade they have diversified, creating the Xbox and its successor the Xbox 360 as well as portable media player brand Zune and a mobile phone OS Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7. Both the Zune and their mobile OS have internet browsing capabilities, but the Xbox does not. The biggest computer company on the planet has withheld the ability to surf the internet on their gaming console. Ironic.

Its not an issue of can or can not, for both of the Xbox’s competitors as well as hackers have been able to load internet browsers onto their game consoles. The Nintendo Wii’s computing power is weak in comparison to that of the Xbox 360, yet the console allows for fairly smooth navigation online. The PS3, however, is more powerful so it does not come as a surprise that it also has an internet browser. In addition to flexing its computing muscle, the Xbox has internet-enabled applications that are built into the OS. Netflix, ESPN, Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm are all accessible when you’re connected to the internet. Oh, and one more thing. Xbox LIVE. The online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service that requires the internet? The service that millions use on a daily basis to interact with each other. That too, is an internet-driven Microsoft force.

So why, Microsoft? Why, Xbox 360 team? We want an internet browser. We know you can, and that you should. I mean, come on, everyone else is doing it.

Microsoft keynote at CES 2011: Kinect social, Hulu Plus, IE9, New Surface

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Microsoft announced Avatar Kinect tonight during their CES presentation. Simply enough, the Kinect will follow your facial features as far as talking, mouth gestures, eyebrow movements and more as you are represented in a visual chatroom of sorts. The trailer that Microsoft played showed the option of picking from different settings (sports event, doodle city, forest and a few others) and sitting around just hanging out with friends… Very Second-Life ish. They did not go into great detail as far as the extent of Avatar Kinect but Microsoft did announce it will be released in the Spring for Gold LIVE Members for free.

A slew of new Kinect features were presented in addition to the Avatar Kinect including Netflix (finally), Hulu Plus services and a new interactive ESPN interface that includes trash talking and voting on your picks for the big game.

Besides talking up the next update for the Xbox 360 console and its Kinect peripheral, Microsoft took time to brag on its own successes stating that they were aiming to sell 5 million Kinect units and have so far sold 8 million, reminding everyone of the 30 million Xbox LIVE users, and going into lots and lots of detail about how friggin’ awesome Windows Phone 7 is. A quote from CEA Ballmer himself:

We pulled together the best of Office, Windows, Xbox, Xbox Live, Bing, and more to focus on building a great phone. The reaction to the product has been great. We launched 9 phones across 60 countries. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve added great new titles: Kindle, Bank of America, Fruit Ninja — there are already 5500 apps in the Marketplace. 100 apps a day. 20,000 devs have registered with us.

In a word? Wow. Truly spectacular for such a new mobile platform. (They want us to forget how terrible the previous Windows Mobile OS was… and so far they are succeeding with WP7.) The only release information for WP7 is the minor update “NoDo” (which is a stab at Android 1.6 codenamed Donuts) that will include Copy/Paste and speed up general performance. The first substantial update has been dubbed “Mango” and will essentially be Windows Phone 7.5 when it is released in the Spring.

Beyond the Kinect and Windows Phone 7, which are two very hot topics these days, the next installment of Internet Explorer was mentioned, although brevity plagued this part of the presentation. Simply, Ballmer stated the fact that 20 million people had downloaded the beta of IE9. The official release will include HTML5 and hardware accelerated graphics.

The last object of interest during Microsoft’s keynote I shall quote from Engadget’s liveblog:

7:32PM New Surface is out now — this is the version that we saw earlier with the crazy PixelSense tech which is able to use each pixel as an individual camera, which means you can put a piece of paper on the display, and it will read the text you’ve written on it. The screen also uses infrared sensors for touch input.

Now I personally have no idea what this is, and the demo at the conference only revealed the fact that the Surface knew 20 “digits” were being pressed against it. It reminded me of the fact that we are getting closer and closer to Minority Report-esque navigation. And… as a side note Microsoft noted this is staying commercially exclusive. No New Surface on consumer tablets 😦

[Sources: WinRumors, Engadget, Gizmodo, PC Magazine]