Microsoft: Always-Connected All-in-One Entertainment Center
Microsoft has always had a different focus than Sony. Whereas Sony focuses closely on gaming, Microsoft has always envisioned the Xbox line as an all-in-one entertainment center for the entire household. Microsoft also puts a strong emphasis on services and connectivity (sometimes to the chagrin of its customers).
We can expect Microsoft to continue along these lines with the Xbox Two. To be fair, recently they have taken some steps to evolve beyond their somewhat warped (or in their thinking, “ahead of the times”) policies regarding backwards compatibility.
Microsoft has struggled with adoption of their Kinect motion-sensing technology. On Xbox 360, customers were less-than-impressed with Kinect. On Xbox One, however, Microsoft decided to forge ahead. More and more of their titles include some kind of Kinect feature, and gamers are slowly becoming more receptive to it.
Why has Microsoft been so insistent with sticking to its guns on Kinect? It could be a sign of things to come. Recently Microsoft registered a patent for technology which would allow them to cast a 3D holographic projection throughout a room. That sounds a little bit like the Holodeck on Star Trek! It is easy see why in light of that development they have been so obsessed with Kinect. They envision a gaming experience where you can interact directly with a virtual environment right in your living room—without the need for a headset.
We are obviously quite a ways from this kind of immersive living room experience, but it isn’t exactly a pipe dream. While Xbox Two obviously isn’t going to be a take-home Holodeck, don’t be surprised if Microsoft starts experimenting more with some of the component technologies over the next few years.