Bill Gates discusses Xbox 2

"More communications, more media, more connectivity" is Xbox 2 mantra.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has spoken in an interview about the company's ambitions for Xbox 2, stating that the next-generation console's goals are to broaden the market and offer more multimedia functionality.

Speaking with US publication News.com at CES, Gates said that the plan is for Media Centre PC and Xbox to "become totally complementary", with the Xbox offering TV, photos and music as well as videogames.

"We didn't do Xbox just to do a video game; we did it to be part of our vision of the digital lifestyle, and with the next generation, we really get to go there," according to the Microsoft chairman. "In the first generation, we had one simple goal, which was to establish credibility as a great video game platform. We've done that."

He went on to discuss the new media and communications functionality which the system will offer, commenting that Xbox 2 will have "great videogaming but videogaming for a broader set of people, more communications, more media, more connectivity" and referring specifically to the ability to connect to home PCs and connect Xbox Live with MSN Messenger.

Gates made no mention of Xbox 2 in his pre-CES keynote address earlier this week, and he admitted to News.com that the firm is "being very coy" about the details and launch timetable for the system.

"I'd say our sophistication is much higher in this second generation," he said. "I'm certainly excited when it comes time to show at how much smarter we are getting to do it a second time with the team that's been built there."

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