[Xbox 720 concept by Xbox World Magazine]
Microsoft has won the race to acquire R2 Studios, beating out Google and Apple, both of whom wanted to acquire the company’s patents pertaining to home automation. R2 founder Blake Krikorian, also known as the father of Slingbox, is expected to join Microsoft’s board after resigning from Amazon last month.
The acquisition all revolves around the upcoming Xbox 720, which has long been rumored to be positioned as a sort centerpiece of a entire connected household — acting as the mother hub in an IP-based cable network, facilitating video communication, and acting as the brain of the home’s entertainment, in a manner of speaking. The acquisition of R2’s patents, along with the cross-platform SmartGlass application that already exists on major smartphone and tablet platforms, is obviously another means to expand the usefulness of the console around the home. It’s going to be interesting to watch as the new console — or, should we now say, new home mother-brain — continues to take shape. The Xbox 720 is expected to be announced at E3, 158 days from now.