Since its debut in May, Microsoft has positioned its new console, the Xbox One, to be more like an all-around media device. Judging from its list of first-wave media partners (which will be available either on day one or by the end of the year) that the company announced today, there’s a lot more to do with the console than just play games.
The Xbox team has gone to great lengths to provide custom content to the 13 countries that will see the Xbox One on its release date November 22. This includes apps for regional network stations, like France’s 2-5 networks, and mass media companies, like Mexico’s Televisa. These new apps, meant to take advantage of the Xbox One’s friendliness with TV, stand alongside international apps like Netflix. In America, Fox, ESPN, FX, Univision and The CW have signed on to provide third-party apps, as well as the Verizon FiOS network. Of course, the United States has the richest options available, including benefits from the deal Xbox announced with the NFL.
The wide range of app deals, both local and web-based, show Microsoft’s doubled-down commitment to make the Xbox a full-on “media center.” This line of thinking is really what separates the company from Sony, which has continued to tout its PlayStation 4 as a console “for gamers.”
And while both consoles will continue to forge pathways with heavy online hitters like HuluPlus and Netflix, it’s the deals with regional television stations that could be a deal-sealer for some consumers looking to decide between the two.