Microsoft has succeeded in evolving the Xbox 360 game console into something more than just a video gaming gateway.
According to the company, owners now spend more time watching TV and listening to music through the console than playing games with it. The average household now use the Xbox for 84 hours per month and the majority now goes to movies and videos, said Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi. One year ago, passive entertainment content accounted for only 30 percent of Xbox usage.
Of course, there is one potentially major flaw in the calculation as it is based on Xbox Live usage and cannot consider offline game play. However, the trend to a general entertainment box appears to be very real: "What we're seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment," Mehdi told the LA Times.
About five years ago, Microsoft was heavily criticized for its generalizing strategy that suggested that Microsoft would turn the console also into a pizza oven, if it could. Following the launch of the Nintendo Wii and the PS3, it was widely believed that specialized gaming experiences focused on user interface control would succeed over Microsoft's everything-for-everyone model. According to Microsoft, there are currently more than 20 million paying Xbox Live subscribers - which is almost a third of all Xbox consoles sold so far (66 million).