Microsoft Corp. has very serious plans to transform the Xbox Live from a gaming service for the Xbox 360 into a highly-integrated content service for personal computers, game consoles, mobile phones and so on. As a result, Xbox Live will be integrated into Windows 8 operating system, according to the software giant.
“Xbox Live has been successful on the Windows Phone. Live will be built into the PC. It will be the service where you get your entertainment. You will not just see consoles and handhelds at [E3] show next year, this show's going to morph into other devices. […] With the Nokia relationship, we are going to have a lot more distribution of phones and Live will be the primary entertainment service. I think that's going to be a good play for us,” said Mike Delman, vice president of global marketing at Microsoft's interactive entertainment business group, in an interview with the Seattle Times.
With Xbox Live installed onto various types of devices, Microsoft will be able to offer one of the most sophisticated content distribution service. The world’s largest maker of software is currently working with more content providers, including TV stations, to get their continent onto Xbox Live. The plan is to make the once purchased content available across a wide range of devices at the same time.
“If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big Live base. It's our job to make ‘buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere’. Making things portable will be a big focus of ours. […] Xbox Live will the pervasive media service across devices,” added Mr. Delman.
An interesting question is which services and what kind of content will be available on which devices. For example, it is unlikely that games for Xbox 360 digitally distributed using Xbox Live will also be playable on PCs.