This week at E3 2012, companies are battling over your entertainment future. Microsoft doesn’t just want you to think of your Xbox 360 as a video game console. Your 360 wants to entertain you – always. Microsoft announced at its June 4 press event that it is adding more than 35 content partners including Nickelodeon, Paramount and Univision to Xbox Live.
ESPN has worked with Xbox Live previously and is now adding 24/7 live programming to its console streaming offerings. Popular ESPN programs including Mike and Mike in the Morning, SportsNation and the big one, SportsCenter will all be on Xbox Live. That’s in addition to live sports coverage ranging from NBA basketball to strongman competitions. ESPN even did live coverage of the 2012 Madden Bowl video game tourney. Seriously, 18-49 year-old males, ESPN and Xbox Live want to be your best buds. The announcement of “Baconvision” cannot logically be far behind. NBA League Pass Broadband and NHL GameCenter Live owners will be able to view live games on their consoles too.
Microsoft is replacing its Zune brand of music service. It was designed to compete with iTunes, but Microsoft found themselves bested by Apple’s marketing Jedis. Despite its prominent placement in the Xbox Live Music marketplace, the brand never gained any traction. You know what Microsoft brand has lots of traction? The Xbox. Henceforth, the service is known as Xbox Music and will be available on the 360, Windows Phone and all Windows 8 compatible devices. The service should arrive in the fall. Owners of Zune playlists will still get access to all the songs they’ve downloaded through Xbox Music.