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Microsoft: Consumers using Xbox Live for media more than gaming

Households are spending an increasing amount of time with the Xbox 360's online platform -- and they spend more than half of their time watching videos and listening to music, instead of playing games.
Households are spending an increasing amount of time with the Xbox 360's online platform -- and they spend more than half of their time watching videos and listening to music, instead of playing games. The popularity of Xbox Live's entertainment offerings is evidence that Microsoft's "trojan horse" strategy for its Xbox 360, which aims to set up the gaming system as a digital media hub installed in people's living rooms, is working. "What we're seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment," said Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division SVP Yusuf Mehdi, according to the Los Angeles Times. Consumers spend an average of 84 hours a month on Xbox Live playing online games, and checking out videos and music -- 30 percent more than they spent a year ago. For comparison, households spend about 150 hours a month watching TV on average. They have three dozen entertainment applications to choose from on Xbox Live, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, MLB.tv, HBO Go, and Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity on demand video service (the latter three released on the service today). At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Xbox 360 is "still [about] games.. but [it's] morphing, changing." He noted that its Kinect motion control peripheral is playing a big part in turning the console into an entertainment hub.

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