Saturday, February 21, 2009
I bought Xbox 360 mainly for my BF. I'm not a big game person. Oh, I say I'll buy this or that game and "master" it. But I won't. Except for Miss Pacman. I'm totally going to kick that game's ass.
But I didn't think the Xbox 360 held anything of real interest to me. That was, until I realized that it was a proto-model of what the all-in-one entertainment consoles of the future are going to look like; if, indeed, that future is not already here.
I can stream #$%@% Netflix on the Xbox 360. For $20 a month, I can stream unlimited movies from our Netflix queue straight to our TV. Granted, they don't have every movie "streaming ready" yet. But they have a good portion (including documentaries, which are my fave). And the ones they don't have? We still have the option, on top of the unlimited streaming, to have the physical discs sent to our door.
This is on top of the fact that Xbox Live (Gold Membership, which costs $50 a year) offers more movies and TV shows on-demand. The option to play all of your Windows Media -- songs, movies, etc -- on your TV via your Xbox 360 (wireless connection). Or we could just use the console as a DVD player. Or we could hook up our iPod to it.
Oh, yeah -- and we also can play video games on it.
I always told the BF that once another Hulu-type streaming video service comes out, we were going to have to cancel the cable. Perhaps keep the basic of basic packages, just to watch the networks and NY1. But that cable was such an enormous expense, one of the biggest we have outside the rent each month.
That new streaming service may or may not be CBS. But, regardless -- the Xbox 360 more than takes care of all our media needs. We have media media media (inexpensive media) coming out off our butts.
Which is awesome.
Sucks to be the cable companies, though. And the movie and TV studios who have steadily been losing "hard copy" revenue from sales of DVDs. And the video rental stores? The ones I frequented not ten years ago, like the one I worked at when I was in my early twenties? Are they obsolete yet? Will they be? Even Blockbuster, eventually? And what happens to all the jobs connected with all those things I've just mentioned? Service jobs, and jobs lost by studios shifting their focus, tightening their belts?
But this is the march of time. And the hope is, that more jobs will be created by shifting focus to digital. The hope is, everything will figure its way out, find its own niche. That's the hope.
The big winner, at any rate, is Microsoft. We're canceling the cable.
Related article from Hot Hardware: "The Future of Netflix Is All About Streaming"