Theories and speculation concerning Microsoft's next console (Xbox 720 or whatever it may be called) are still far more common than concrete information, but one patent filed by the company is turning heads. If Microsoft achieves its goal of becoming an entertainment hub within the home, that television/satellite DVR you've got may become unnecessary.
With the recent success that the Xbox 360 has found both as a gaming device and as a brand new motion control interface, the developers at Microsoft are obviously not taking their feet off the gas. Already claims of an even bigger and better Kinect 2.0 are being thrown around, but for the average consumer the future of television on the Xbox is far more intriguing.
The recently revealed plan the company has for its Xbox Live TV service aren't quite as promising as the rhetoric that had been used led many to believe. In all honesty, Microsoft's press conference at last year's E3 seemed to imply a vast catalogue of TV shows that could be paused, recorded, and played back at the viewer's convenience.
Now a patent filed by Microsoft and approved last year is seeming to show just how grand the company's plans for the next console may be. The patent in question pertains specifically to:
"A digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console. The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu.
"Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games. Alternatively, users can record content when the gaming console is turned off. The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on. When in the recording state, users can also switch between various other media modes, whether gaming, television, and so on."
Whether this patent is an accurate glimpse at the company's plans for the next Xbox or a pipe-dream is up for debate, especially considering just how many cable providers would need to take a massive profit cut to hand over their content to Microsoft. Still, the patent shows in far more concrete and plain terms what the developers of the Xbox 720/Next/Loop have in mind for achieving their entertainment monopoly.
What do you think of combining your TV and gaming channels into a single receiver? Do you think Microsoft is onto something big here, or has their previous support of TV and film content left you with more doubts than faith?
We'll keep you posted on whatever details arise concerning the Xbox 720, whether it's TV or gaming-related.
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