It’s president of entertainment and devices Robbie Bach’s turn at the mic as the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) keynote turns to content. Among the highlights:
— New content: Xbox Live will launch its own channel, Primetime, with a real-time game show called 1 vs. 100 — all live. A sort of virtual Who Wants to be a Millionaire? without money. “It’s all about the mob …” They’re also adding a game developers channel and shipping a new product called Kodu for creating games that can be shared on Xbox Live, now being demoed onstage by a 12-year-old kid who is beyond adept.
— *Netflix*: Xbox Live added *Netflix* streaming late last year. “A very easy way for people to get HD content” — over 12,000 movies and episodes.
— Xbox Live: Xbox Live grew more than 70 percent last year and now has more than 17 million subscribers, with three million added in the last quarter of 2008. Bach claims XBL accounts for 75 percent of all music downloads across platforms.
— Windows Media Center: Bach says Media Center has over 10 million unique users a month, averaging about 90 minutes a session.
— Zune: No mention of that pesky leap year bug, but Zune Social use doubled to more than 2 million.
— IPTV: The pace of IPTV is accelerating. Mediaroom is adding an Anytime feature that literally will let viewers go backwards to watch their favorite shows.
The rest of our coverage is on our CES 2009 channel