CES: Xbox 360’s services are ‘richer’ and ‘more social’

If you haven’t noticed, just about all of these net-connected set-top boxes and game systems are starting to have similar functions. Even television sets will let you log into Netflix or Hulu, view your pictures or check your Facebook wall. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 does all of that, but Senior Director of PR Jose Pinero says it’s the little extra bits they put into these experiences that brings their system to the forefront.

Speaking on the instant success of Kinect, Pinero says that we should expect that this is just the beginning:

“Expect us to do more things like take advantage of Avatars, voice commands, hand gestures — that’s the future. For us, combining Kinect with the Xbox and life services, that is the formula for us, and we’re going to find ways to make entertainment experiences richer, more deep, and more social.”

We just learned here at CES that Microsoft will add Kinect support to Hulu Plus and Netflix. The motivations aren’t just technical, though. The goal is to make them special by adding extra elements, like social components. Pinero says that Microsoft is excited to be in the space of offering these services with an added advantage or two over other companies’ offerings.

“A lot of companies can pipe a movie or song to you, but I think the magic really happens when sell the content but build you something on top of it, Pinero continued. “It could be that you interact with people through Kinect, or you can see your avatar watching a movie, or it could be that you watch sports events with your best friends across the country. Those are the things that I think will bring people together.”

Dale North