The mainstream media (or MSM for those of you down with the Web 2.0 lingo) doesn't cover every video game story out there, so when they dom, we always perk up and take notice. Following Microsoft's big HDTV announcement Monday night, several major mainstream outlets covered the news. Let's see what they had to say:
Time Magazine considers the downloadable space as a whole, where "many companies including Microsoft competitors Apple, Amazon.com and Google are getting into the video distribution business. Microsoft's ace is that the Xbox 360 is already connected to the TV, a hurdle others try to overcome by marketing multimedia set-top boxes or creating unwieldy hardware partnerships."
The New York Times compares Apple and Microsoft's similar, but oh so different, strategies, writing, "Microsoft will go into the video business with a different business model. Apple, most analysts believe, does not make much money selling iTunes content, but makes up for it by selling more iPods, which are extremely profitable. Microsoft, which analysts say loses money on each Xbox 360 it sells, expects to make up for that shortfall by selling games -- and now video.
Reuters looks to the more obvious competitor. "Sony Corp., which ships its PlayStation 3 on November 17 with its own digital-distribution network, PlayStation Network, also will look to movies, TV content and music down the line but has not yet announced specific deals. Games will be the first focal point, as they have been for Microsoft during the past year with its Xbox Arcade service."
So, Microsoft got there first (or, rather, they will when the service launches on November 22nd): A high-definition video download service connected to a set-top box already installed in millions of living rooms (and counting). But there's still more questions than answers in this shady, poorly-lit basement cockfight for living room supremacy. Like: what about the borderline impossibility of future cooperation with Sony Pictures? That would make it hard to be a comprehensive service. What about iTV?