The next iteration of Microsoft's Xbox may be a real game-changer for consumers' living rooms.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the software giant a patent on December 27 for an "integrated gaming and media experience," in which content could be recorded on a gaming console.
Here's the essence of patent No. 8,083,593 according to the USPTO abstract:
A digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console. The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu. Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games. Alternatively, users can record content when the gaming console is turned off. The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on. When in the recording state, users can also switch between various other media modes, whether gaming, television, and so on.
Microsoft has always wanted a beachhead in living rooms around the world, and the patent is the latest evidence that the company is moving toward the goal of getting consumers to fire up their Xbox whenever they flip on their TVs, not just when they want to play a game.
Microsoft brought the first hint of live TV to its Xbox consoles last month with an updated look to its Xbox Live service. In addition to introducing the Metro-style look to Xbox, it lets customers of Verizon's Fios cable television service choose from 26 different live TV channels--Comedy Central, HBO, and Nickelodeon. A handful of other partners are offering live programming through Xbox as well.