Microsoft made headlines recently by proudly proclaiming it would support Netflix streaming video to Gold members starting this fall at no additional cost. They have also announced plans to open a community application store whose concept very much mirrors the approach taken by Apple with the iPhone app store. Anyone can apply to join the XNA Creators Club, as long as you have the $99 application fee and a unique idea to work with. Microsoft will distribute content at prices ranging from $2.50 to $10.00 taking a mere 30% cut of the profits. Most readers know this approach is about as creative as the mii2 avatar’s but is still a step in the right direction. With community application support and streaming video now coming to the Xbox, it speaks to a larger trend. Consumers are increasingly looking for a one box solution to their entertainment needs. And the battle for the living room is just starting to heat up.
Click the jump to see to see why the future of all in one entertainment devices is bright.
It looks like a partnership with Netflix isn't the only thing Microsoft has planned for its Xbox 360 console. Coming this fall, the Redmond company announced it will be giving the console a complete software face-lift.
And new it is. The updated Dashboard will sport 3D interface, including 3D avatars that will look familiar to anyone who's ever used a Nintendo Wii, and will be integrated into your GamerCard. New emphasis will be placed on the community with IM, video chat, photo sharing, and a nifty-looking 3D slide interface for the main Dashboard screen, along with an 8-people party system.
The console wars just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Earlier today at E3, Microsoft and Netflix announced an exclusive partnership that will give Xbox 360 owners the ability to stream movies and TV episodes included with their Netflix subscription to their living room TV set. The new service will launch in late fall and be available to LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.
The partnership with Microsoft not only comes as a bonus to existing Xbox 360 owners, who prior to the update had to either buy a $99 set-top player through Roku or deal with unofficial (and buggy) workarounds, but also presents potential console owners a compelling incentive to pick up an Xbox 360 over the Blu-ray capable Playstation 3.
The last time Sony slashed PS3’s price, it immediately translated into much improved sales. However, Sony isn’t too keen on cutting prices at this time, according to its CFO Nobuyuki Oneda. This denial comes amidst rumors that suggest the Xbox 360 Pro console – one with the 20gigs drive – will soon receive a $50 price cut.
Even though the PS3 has climbed back to a position of moderate strength after the abyss it plunged into almost immediately after launch, it still is making huge losses. But Oneda told a forum in Singapore that he expects the gaming division to churn profits this fiscal year. Sony can do a world of good to PS3’s prospects by expanding the console’s small games library than lowering prices.
When Blu-ray won the high-definition format war, Sony's Playstation 3 transformed from a high priced console into a viable living room entertainment console, but it lacked the video download infrastructure that Microsoft could boast with its Xbox Live Marketplace. Not anymore. Sony CEO Howard Stringer spoke out on the company's goal to rollout its new video service across a varity of products through 2010, and it all starts with the PS3 this summer.
Find out why PS3 owners should be excited, and Microsoft worried, after the jump.
Sony's decision to slap a Blu-ray player into its Playstation 3 console helped seal HD-DVD's fate as the modern day Betamax, but the costly hardware also helped contribute to a whopping $3 billion loss in hardware sales, according to a Kotaku report. Sony's fiscal 2008 annual report also pinpointed "the large-scale investment required during the development and introductory period" as a contributing factor. Throwing salt into the financial wound, the now ancient PS2 sold more hardware than the PS3 in fiscal 2008, and nearly three times as much software. Ouch.