Saturday, December 20, 2008

When I Grow Up, I Wanna be a Multimedia Platform!

The New York Times is running an interview with Shane Kim, Microsoft's VP of Strategy and Business Development - basically the man in charge of making sure you enjoy your 360. He says his main focus is "trying to understand what is of interest to the broader set of customers beyond the traditional game audience that would take advantage of the interactive platform we have."

So, Shane, you want to get casual gamers or (gasp) non-gamers on board? Maybe you should ask Miyamoto-san, who believes gardening and exercise are the answer. Instead, you're letting us download Netflix movies to our 360. Okay, Ebert's got your back there. You want us to watch Hulu and Youtube videos, too? Fair enough, more hits for 30 Rock and this small daring boy. Oh, and perhaps a Zune-friendly method of downloading music would make some people smile - you know, the five people who actually have Zunes.

I respect your attempts to keep this within the New Xbox Experience. "We don’t have the hubris that says we have been supersuccessful in gaming so let’s chase this separate entertainment thing. We are building out from where we are at," you say. I might argue that Microsoft indeed possesses hubris, just not the kind you're talking about - so I'm still with you.

But you lose me when you "[imagine] that people could watch clips of pro sports games on an Xbox while chatting about them with their friends." I'm pretty sure I don't need the opportunity to yell drunkenly at Cowboys fans over Xbox Live. I don't trust myself to exercise restraint, Shane. And you shouldn't either.

EDIT: Matt Rosoff at CNET has further word on a possible Zune/Xbox integration, linking to a Microsoft job posting for a "User Experience Designer" who will work on, among other things, the "Zune Xbox."