Microsoft to Shift Xbox Brand from Gaming to Entertainment

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Microsoft Xbox WindowsIt wasn’t that long ago now that Microsoft changed their Zune line of audio players into the company’s outward-facing system for playing back audio (and, to a limited extent, video). Now, according to a recent post on the company’s Official Microsoft Blog, Redmond is looking to do the same with the Xbox360.

Microsoft so far has sold twice as many Xbox 360 consoles as they did the original Xbox. These days, only 60% of Xbox activity is actual gaming – the rest is general entertainment. Moreover, each Xbox is used to watch an average of 30 hours of video content per month – and growing.

What would it mean if Microsoft turned the Xbox into a more generic brand? It’s already started with the addition of Xbox Live titles to the Windows Phone platform – it wouldn’t take much for the company to make a similar move on the Windows desktop side of the equation. We might even see a shift from titles being branded as Games for Windows compatible to Xbox PC (or similar) compatible.

It’s a sign that Microsoft finally gets the idea that it isn’t a single device that sells content these days; instead, it’s all about the platform. That means Windows for OS, Office for working, Zune for music and video puchasing and Xbox for entertainment. 

Microsoft is planning an hour-and-a-half long event next week at E3 in Los Angeles. We’ll be there to cover it live and bring you the news, and to investigate just what Frank Shaw meant when he said that games would be brought to Windows 7 PCs, Windows Phone 7 phones and “other devices to come.”

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