Apple and Microsoft will soon be competing for the living room space

Xbox One

Microsoft yesterday announced its Xbox One. It’s the company’s latest videogame console, and it’s set to arrive sometime before the end of the year, likely November some time before Black Friday to launch in time for the holiday season.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s focus seemed primarily on the console as an entertainment hub for your living room. The company talked about television viewing and media consumption that isn’t gaming.

Everyone wants control of the living room

Let’s face it. Most of us probably spend more time in the living room sitting in front of the TV than we’d like to admit. It’s probably for good reason. After a long work day, most of us just want to unwind and relax on the couch. Those with children or in relationships may use it as family time. It’s a way for everyone to get together and enjoy something if even for an hour out of the day. Apple is trying to make its device available to almost everyone by offering Apple TV at $99. That’s comparable to similar set-top boxes, but it’s most ideal for people who have iOS devices and Macs for the integration.

Microsoft’s Xbox One

The Xbox One, like most modern gaming consoles, is a multimedia device. Rather than just play games like consoles of much older generations, these machines have become entertainment devices. Some gaming fans hate this, but personally I think it means less switching inputs on my television. In reality, it’s probably a way for console manufacturers to not only capture a wider audience, but bring consoles to the family room or living room. I remember growing up and my Nintendo always went in my bedroom. That’s fine, but I always wanted to play on the big TV. That rarely happened. Now, companies like Microsoft are giving families reason to want to set the console up in the living room. The gamers in the family can play Halo while the non-gamers can watch Blu-Rays and Netflix or stream music.

What about games?

Some feel that Microsoft not revealing any games for this announcement is a bad sign. Of course it didn’t show games. The E3 gaming expo is a few weeks away. Microsoft needs to save some announcements for that. However, it does take some of the impact away from a console unveiling at E3. That said, the console makers probably didn’t want to compete for the E3 spotlight. Individual announcements gave them each the opportunity to showcase their new systems while full attention was on them.

Fighting for that Living Room

We don’t know who will take over the living room, but everyone wants that space right now, it seems: Apple, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Valve. We’ll just have to see who does it best. It should make for an interesting show for the next few years.


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