Updated: The clock is counting down to the XBox 360 launch. Folks like Chris Anderson and Russell Beattie are waxing eloquent about the hottest new gaming platform and its ability to act as a bridge between television and Microsoft Media Center PCs. But all is not […]

Updated: The clock is counting down to the XBox 360 launch. Folks like Chris Anderson and Russell Beattie are waxing eloquent about the hottest new gaming platform and its ability to act as a bridge between television and Microsoft Media Center PCs. But all is not hunky dory, according to Sajeeth Cherian, who wrote the amazing Videora software.

In the FAQ for his new Videora XBox 360 convertor software he points out that many of videos on the XBox Live MarketPlace are in most likelihood, available for free on the web. Of course, you cannot play the videos without a Media Center PC, and last but not the least, You cannot play videos off your non-Media Center PC for now. You will need an optional Xbox 360 Hard Drive to download/watch video from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Given that its a Microsoft world, not too surprised about the only support for Windows Media and MPEG 1 &2 platforms but no support for avi, Xvid, Quicktime and H264. (Apple does the same, so I don’t hold that against Bill’s boys!)

Those issues aside, I personally think this could be a beautiful gaming platform, and will get the kind of traction Gates & Company have been lusting for. The marketplace encourages micro-content buying through things like paint jobs for racing cars and tattoos for the gangsters. I think these virtual-tochtkes that cost pennies will add-up to become the next billion dollars for Microsoft. Having seen the device up, close and personal, well, it is so un-Microsoft like that it might be a success.

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  1. It is huge. Why else would apple rush Frontrow to the market?
    For Apple to displace Xbox, its going to be a costly affair. And I am happier Xbox is from MS and not from Apple :)

  2. Gates said a messenger client is in the works with XBox. Microsoft will have your voip in the living room and the board room.

  3. James Bowskill Monday, November 21, 2005

    Lots of excitement here in Japan too, with a great conceptual promo site being filled up every day with comments and wishes people have. Brief explanation here: http://www.jamesbowskill.com/weblog/xbox-360-voicepool.html

  4. Om,

    I agree with Russ and think that MS is all set to capture your living room. I have to diasgree with your comments about CISCO and that old second hand settop box company.(Jim Cramer called it so)

    I will tell you the attitude of these cable companies into settop box. I interviewed for a Developer position at one such companies in Kirkland. I was shocked at the snails pace they wanted to move and still think they will rule the market. Also I had visited the company around 9:00PM to see how many devs are still working, it was shocking, NONE.

    Guys Bill has been equally serious about media as he is about search. I see lights in Building 50 and parking lot is atleast one level full at midnight.

    Time will tell!

  5. cramer is an idiot who doesn’t know much about technologies. i have spent a lot of time with the cable equipment vendors and no, this is not second hand set-top box company. set-top box is only the most obvious part of the business. no one cares about the back end systems, which everyone is trying to develop from the ground up. SA is the #2 player in this market, has the depth to deliver prodcts. microsoft so far, well its just full parking lots because they can’t make the damn thing work. read my posts about swisscom. or why even SBC keeps pushing the dates out by six months at a time.

  6. Actually, he doesn’t say that “many of videos on the XBox Live MarketPlace are available for free on the web”, he says that some are free on the XBox Live MarketPlace. Based on what’s available at launch (more details at http://www.majornelson.com/2005/11/15/xbox-live-marketplace-launch-content/) game trailers and demos will likely be free.

    I’m liking the look of what MS is doing in the living room, but I don’t really want to run XP Media Center, so I’ll be sticking with the XBox hard drive for now. It’d be great if the XBox let you stream from Samba shares, but that Videora FAQ suggests it’s not possible… Kind of understandable, but a pity. (Though just wait for someone to write a hack that lets some free software pose as Media Center)


  7. I think i’ll wait for the PS3. Then i dont have to spend again for a Blu-Ray DVD player. MS has screwed itself by not putting in a high-def DVD player.

  8. Moo, DVD has only relatively recently been the mainstream outlet for home-movies, that isn’t going to change for quite a while. The main users buying hi-def DVDs and DVD-players will be high-end users who’ll buy dedicated kit, not use the likely poor quality produced by consoles.

  9. The Bay Area Is Talking Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    If it’s the X-Box, What is it Now?

    To hear my new colleague and TBAiT host Harry Hayes tell it, the new X-Box 360 will solve all of your needs from blowing up aliens to conducting business communications. Well, today’s the big day. KRON 4’s John Friess had…

  10. i think this is a great platform, and will be Microsoft’s first big success in a long long time. I think despite themselves, they might have a winner on their hands.

    folks, for those errors, well i fixed those, and regret them.

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