Microsoft just received a patent that closely defines the Xbox 360 as a motion picture entertainment center and much more than just a game console.
The patent, which was filed in January 2007, barely two months after the release of the competing PlayStation 3, Microsoft laid out "an integrated gaming and media experience" that enables users to record media via a "digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component."
The Xbox 360 has supported DVR functions via the Media Remote for some time, However, the record feature only supports content recording to a DVR that is installed by a TV service provider. This patent appears to be a fully integrated DVR experience that records content directly to the Xbox 360 and supports recording during gameplay or video watching. When Microsoft limited its DVR feature for the game console, it stated that it requires the support of an actual DVR as the game console itself is frequently turned off. However the patent explicitly states that this DVR feature also applies when "the gaming console is turned off."
A fully functional DVR are a logical step for game consoles as they are becoming entertainment devices and have to deliver many more functions than just game play and video rental.