Most Intriguing Story of the Day: Will Xbox or PS3 Replace Your Cable Box, or Will Your TV Replace Them?

Dec 7, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A very intriguing essay today in Popular Mechanics.

Here’s the setup: "Microsoft just announced plans to incorporate cable TV in the Xbox 360, an early step in game consoles’ attempt to replace our set-top boxes. But TVs themselves are starting to do everything, threatening to do away with all connected boxes. What’s going on? Nothing but good things for us, Popular Mechanics contributor Mark Wilson argues."

Here’s what Wilson says, "Why would I need my TV to stream Hulu if my PS3 can already handle the job? But now, I’m starting to see the light. We’re entering a time of incredible competition in a very insecure industry. The Xbox could take over the DirecTV box. The TV could take over the Xbox. Once upon a time, we upgraded our home entertainment systems piece by piece. But in a world where every component does almost everything, upgrading one piece carries the potential to upgrade your entire home entertainment rig."

Wilson adds: "Netflix and Hulu are standards on new home theater equipment, not luxuries as they were just a year or two ago. But what’s the next step? One, clearly, is the unification of TV and gaming. Microsoft, with its latest Xbox 360 update, just made a major move in this direction by announcing that the console would incorporate Verizon FiOS, Comcast’s Xfinity, and HBO, adding these three to the 360’s existing partnership with ESPN."

Wilson also notes, "If the latest trick in the console market is for systems like the Xbox 360 and PS3 to become your cable box, are they set to dominate? Not necessarily.

"Televisions, with no extra boxes attached, are already becoming app-heavy; we’ve seen this with Skype and Netflix. And if TVs become app havens, then they could come to dominate the casual gaming market that’s been so successful on iOS and Facebook (see Farmville and Birds, Angry). The much-rumored AppleTV will bundle iPhone apps inside the television set itself. GoogleTV’s strategy is not much different, meaning every other TV manufacturer could incorporate Android games."

We suggest you click on the link above and read Wilson’s entire article.

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