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Published on June 4th, 2012 | by Bags Hooper


E3 2012: Xbox 360 Becomes a Sports Hub, Especially for NBA Fans

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While audiences waited on pins and needles (and while I was about to explode with several WTF’s) for an announcement regarding the Next Gen Xbox, Microsoft continued to tote the power of Kinect.

In particular, they showed off the voice navigation on Xbox 360’s dashboard. Then, Microsoft went on to let sports fans know that both the NBA and NHL will be coming to the Xbox 360. That’s right, you can watch the bball game through your Xbox instead of using cable/FIOS. Instead of just ESPN, gamers will be able to use their Xbox 360 as a sports hub. Hopefully, the pricing can compete with existing TV-viewing mechanisms. Otherwise, it may as well be bloatware.

The announcement shows Microsoft’s continued drive to give core gamers more of what they want, even if it’s not always – you know- video games. So I no longer need a Cable box to get my NBA action.

Sitting at the Microsoft Xbox conference, now about 50% in, I can’t help but feel that Microsoft is losing the crowd by its focus on sports and Kinect.

The Microsoft Team went on to bring Nike to the stage to show off a new Nike integrated Kinect Training program. Seriously? It’s EA Active Sports with more text messaging and more Kinect. Based on the demos, it’s also clear that the marketing videos were largely targeted towards women. Once again, Microsoft is trying to switch its console into a one-stop-shop niche, which blends casual gaming, family interaction and core gaming.

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