Microsoft's Strategy for XBox Infinity (NextBox, 720...)

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  • frunk 22 Jan 2013 17:33:03 31 posts
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    Seeing Microsoft's current corporate strategy & the XBox Infinity (or whatever it was called) block diagram & specs starting to come to light I think it is reasonably easy to understand what the headline feature set of the thing will be.

    3Gb RAM set aside for OS and a HDD: The only reason you need that much space is for a "proper OS". Microsoft's strategy for Win8 has been to get it into as many devices as possible - so it is a bit of a no-brainer that that OS will be Windows 8 or a SetTop version of it (a version similar to Windows RT on the Surface). It will be a closed ecosystem like the Surface RT and require apps to only be provided through the App Store.

    Kinect 2.0 on every console will allow the user to use their TV just like a giant tablet, therefore opening the above Apps store to a much wider variety of applications than what we are used to with gestures and voice.

    The HDMI 1.4a input is a give away too. It will be used to plug in your output of your AV amp or primary device plugged into the TV (e.g.: Sky Box) to put the XBox in-line with you video display to allow overlay of content. Suddenly all those SmartGlass efforts start looking like they have a point - this is all about augmenting what is on-screen... even the name "Glass" is a giveaway don't you think?

    All they need to do it pop a couple of IR LEDs on your Xbox and it can control all your devices through the XBox. I think those IR-LEDs are built into the "Controller" box in the system diagram - hell build the IR sender into the controllers themselves to maximise room coverage, but a little wireless box would do the same trick.

    Wait a minute - won't putting the XBox in line with your Sky Box kill the sound to your AV amp? Nah... you have the joy of the HDMI 1,4a Audio Return Channel to get around that.. and failing that the SP/DIF. MS is not gonna put these connections on every XBox unless they think they really need it in EVERY XBox. I believe they have thought it through.


    So put all that together and what do you have?

    Your TV becomes a giant tablet you work with your hands and voice, able to do anything your computer, tablet or console does. It can play games and augment the other activities you do with your screen. You can download approved social apps, network video streaming apps and games from a huge eco-system of Windows developers and properly interact with them, assuming Kinect 2.0 and Voice recognition is up to snuff. Given the investment MS has made in these areas they *should* do by now!

    Look further for the evidence; Wifi Direct & the Video Codec allows you to do ALL the Nintendo Wii-U type stuff with a connected tablet or phone... even take your game on the move while allowing the NextBox to do stuff on your telly at the same time. Or vice versa - take your TV viewing away on your tablet and let your kids play Halo 5 at the big screen. That simple block diagram has let the cat out the bag and offers thousands of possibilities.

    Suddenly the XBox is the "Centre of your living room" which is exactly what Microsoft want.

    From a business perspective it all makes perfect sense; Apple owns the Apps Store (and their 30% cut) in your phone and tablet along with Google. PC's will stay forever unchained despite what MS wants - the backlash would be too harsh for them to stomach. However Google & Apple have both "had a go" at the TV market. The living room is the last great untapped Apps opportunity. Every TV manufacturer has had a go and created a fragmented mess which no-one takes seriously.

    No-one is willing to buy a set-top box to do all this stuff until it hits a saturation point. Also no-one will buy a box to "just do this". By leveraging the XBox brand, some good games and the positive will of the gaming public they will "Create the new standard" for Living Room apps by getting it in tens of millions of houses.

    The rumoured "second SKU" of XBox - the one that does not play games also suddenly becomes useful once you hit that critical mass of adoption.

    With the existing Windows development community working through the Microsoft Apps Store they finally get their 30% of people's casual spending money, like Apple and Google do.

    Forget Kinect folks, this is REAL MS strategy. This is their last chance to tie up a closed market for themselves.

    It's clever, it's elegant and it may well just work.

    On the downside, Microsoft know exactly what you are doing, not just which game you are playing, they will be able to see:
    - Watching TV? Which channel?
    - Playing a Blu-ray in the XBox - which one?
    - Who is participating... Kinect can tell how many people are watching, their ages, sex and probably ethnicity (you saw those patents)

    I would REALLY look carefully at those XBL privacy terms when I crack open the box - I sense a privacy lawsuit in the offing. This type of data has HUGE value. Why do you think Microsoft is bigging up their Kinect-enabled adverts? They can overlay these on the real TV ads as they pass by in real time - suddenly they are in the TV advert business without buying airtime. More lawsuits here I think :)

    So on top of their 30% app store cut, they get to sell advertisers viewing data and our other habits AND sell augmented advertising. It's win-win-win for MS.


    So folks... tell me I am wrong? What have I not considered? Point out the holes in my thinking! Surely a DF article should discuss this with minds better than mine?

    It ties up all those MS initiatives (XBox, SmartGlass, Apps Store, multiple SKUs, Kinect & Ads). It is not as if MS have ever said they DON'T want to be in everyone's living room and the centre of your digital life.
  • Fake_Blood 22 Jan 2013 17:36:44 4,082 posts
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    Doesn't warrant a new thread, yet.
  • Maturin 22 Jan 2013 17:40:33 2,892 posts
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    I think it's a very interesting view of what Microsoft may be aiming to do.
  • Lukus 22 Jan 2013 17:41:18 19,004 posts
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    I dunno, I think it's a good post that makes a lot of sense. Although I don't think every Xbox will come with Kinect.

    Edited by Lukus at 17:42:18 22-01-2013

    Paintings & Photographs

  • frunk 22 Jan 2013 17:42:58 31 posts
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    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Doesn't warrant a new thread, yet.
    Why not... I don't see a thread anywhere seriously trying to discuss the direction Microsoft it taking to get into your living room. A thread that does not compare rumoured specs. A thread that tries to look at a wider strategy from Microsoft and what it means to you...
  • NOSAVIOUR 22 Jan 2013 17:44:48 2,804 posts
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    Warrants thread when that much thought has been put into something. Interesting read that makes a lot of sense.
  • cubbymoore 22 Jan 2013 17:53:48 36,468 posts
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    I was fearing a rambling load of half baked gobbledegook, but that kind of makes sense! Will be interesting to see how right you are.
  • RelaxedMikki 22 Jan 2013 18:01:39 927 posts
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    Hmmm.

    This makes a lot of sense. Good post frunk.
  • Armoured_Bear 22 Jan 2013 18:07:56 10,308 posts
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    Good post, makes a lot of sense.

    XBL : ecosse011172
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  • mikew1985 22 Jan 2013 18:10:12 12,610 posts
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    What the fuck is all this back slapping bullshit?!

    Get a blog you cunt.

    ;)

    Edited by mikew1985 at 18:10:33 22-01-2013
  • Lukus 22 Jan 2013 18:11:41 19,004 posts
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    Has anyone said it makes a lot of sense yet?

    Paintings & Photographs

  • Trowel 22 Jan 2013 18:12:10 17,461 posts
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    Tell you what, that is a great shout, makes a lot of sense.
  • cubbymoore 22 Jan 2013 18:13:42 36,468 posts
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    By golly, it makes sense...  IT MAKES SENSE!
  • lordofthedunce 22 Jan 2013 18:15:42 375 posts
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    Not only does it make sense, if correct, it could make a lot of cents.
  • Trowel 22 Jan 2013 18:18:00 17,461 posts
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    Could be worth forming a rival company to Microsoft - Megasense.
  • DaM 22 Jan 2013 18:25:08 12,902 posts
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    Lukus wrote:
    I dunno, I think it's a good post that makes a lot of sense. Although I don't think every Xbox will come with Kinect.
    I think they will, it's pointless from a developers point of view when only a small subset of customers have it. Unless they are abandoning it, every Xbox will have it.
  • ED209 22 Jan 2013 18:28:53 505 posts
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    Fuck me modern game system speculation is tedious. Remember when it used to be about bundles with shoulder mounted cannons or how many colours it would have or how many games would be built 'inside' it.

    Now it's all HDMI 4.0 so you can hook up your other tedious equipment and tweak colour levels until they match the amplitude of your tablets antisemitic waveform.

    I hate what you've all become.

    Samantha Janus?

  • Moot_Point 22 Jan 2013 18:31:12 3,919 posts
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    That OP was a lot of half baked assumptions. /bucks trend

    ================================================================================

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  • Armoured_Bear 22 Jan 2013 18:31:56 10,308 posts
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    Moot_Point wrote:
    That OP was a lot of half baked assumptions. /bucks trend
    Controversy in thread.

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  • Jeepers 22 Jan 2013 18:34:42 13,173 posts
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    I think vizzini does it better.
  • Deleted user 22 January 2013 18:42:59
    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Good post, makes a lot of sense.
    Terrible post, what a load of shit.
  • Psychotext 22 Jan 2013 18:46:43 53,855 posts
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    Whilst I don't really think we have a clue what Microsoft is doing with all of that RAM yet, parts of the OP certainly make sense.
  • jellyhead 22 Jan 2013 18:52:46 24,350 posts
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    I'd say a chunk of the RAM and maybe one of the cores will be a dedicated hypervisor of sorts like with the PS3. Sony's PS3 security lasted a fair while didn't it?

    This signature intentionally left blank.

  • frunk 22 Jan 2013 19:03:18 31 posts
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    @mikew1985

    Yeah sorry for the blog length... It started out with a comment I made on the "Sony late to the party article" on which I wanted to elaborate... Then as I typed it just grew arms and legs. Sorry :)
  • neilka 22 Jan 2013 19:14:14 15,678 posts
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  • richardiox 22 Jan 2013 19:21:07 5,547 posts
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    Compare that post with something from Vizzini. THAT's how you make informed speculation.
  • LeoliansBro 22 Jan 2013 19:29:54 43,246 posts
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    RelaxedMikki wrote:
    Hmmm.

    This makes a lot of sense. Good post frunk.
    This guy.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • beastmaster 22 Jan 2013 19:33:58 11,191 posts
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    I gave up after "Seeing".

    Can I have a management summary please?

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • Jeepers 22 Jan 2013 20:07:43 13,173 posts
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    beastmaster wrote:
    I gave up after "Seeing".

    Can I have a management summary please?
    In effort to win speculative battle for the lounge MS might release a console with dozens of features no one really wants, needs or can realistically use.

    Frunk seems like a nice chap tho.
  • neilka 22 Jan 2013 20:11:59 15,678 posts
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    He has put about 50 times more thought into it than anyone involved in making the Wii U did.
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