Cable box? Microsoft says “Xbox”

Troy Wolverton at the San Jose Mercury News has a worthwhile article on Microsoft’s plans to market the XBox 360 as consumers’ go-to source for on-demand media:

Through a software update
available Tuesday, users will get access to a swath of new digital
entertainment content, including video channels from the likes of
YouTube, HBO and Epix, and digital music from iHeartRadio. Subscribers
to Comcast’s pay television service will be able to access all of the
company’s on-demand video via the Xbox.

The software update will
also include a universal search feature that will allow users to search
for movies and other content across various digital content providers.
And it will let owners use Microsoft’s Kinect accessory to navigate the
entire Xbox interface. Previously, users could access only a handful of
functions through Kinect.

In other words, Microsoft – as well as Sony and Nintendo – will be competing not only with each other, but cable companies as technology advances. Expect Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony’s (presumed) PlayStation 4 and whatever Microsoft calls its next console to have even more features designed to make their consoles have even more multimedia functions.

The San Jose Mercury News is The Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin’s sister paper.