It seems as though everyone is talking about the Xbox One, and the discussion isn’t strictly limited to gaming. As more companies create nontraditional “set top boxes” that can stream OTT content and be used for video chatting and photo sharing in addition to gaming, the hype is sure to grow.Companies such as Microsoft (creators of the Xbox One) want consumers to think of these advanced set-top boxes as more than a simple video game system as they can be used to access OTT content via services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, streaming it right onto their television. Moreover, because they are connected to the Internet, they can also be used as a device for sharing photos and videos, talking with family or business contacts via Skype, and social media sharing.
Users can also shift between games, apps, and other content on the Xbox One using the “Snap” feature. This allows users to play a video game while keeping an eye on their favorite sporting event or movie, for example.
But, deep down, these next-generation “set-top boxes” are still state-of-the-art gaming systems first and foremost, and their main audience is most likely still gamers looking for the next big thrill. The Xbox One, for example, includes the redesigned Kinect camera, that allows users to control games and navigate on-screen menus with voice commands and gestures. As games become more social, interactive, and sophisticated, systems such as the Xbox One and the Sony PS4 are poised to capture a large slice of the market.