Xbox One Being Pitched As An Office Tool
Earlier today we detailed Microsoft’s corporate restructure, specifically within the Xbox division of the company. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s memo to employees also mentioned focusing on delivering serious fun which was a welcome relief because some of us had begun to think MS had lost its appetite for gaming somewhat. However, in what could pay off as a shrewd business move, Microsoft is also pitching its new console to small businesses as a one-stop unit for all your networking and conferencing needs.
Sure, Sony already markets their laptops, TV’s and projectors to the corporate sector but this sort of marketing duality where you pitch the same device as an instrument for “serious fun” and then as a multitool for the office to two distinct groups is bold and could just lead to Xbox One selling more units.
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Xbox One took Microsoft’s E3 conference as a gaming force to be reckoned with but now Microsoft is referencing all the added functionality that they unveiled at the Xbox One reveal back in May. The company suggests that big-screen video conferencing with Skype, power of the cloud and web apps in addition to SmartGlass integration justifies a $500 business expense.
In a post on Microsoft’s small business support blog, “Xbox MVP” and director of the company’s consumer camp Marques Lyons says it’s “entirely justifiable” to file a $500 Xbox One purchase as a business expense. [T]here are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms,” Lyons said.
The console’s Skype functionality not only allows for a multi-person video chat on big-screen but the Kinect camera offers a wider view than available on work computers. The Internet Explorer can be used to access a SkyDrive which might have all company presentations ready and waiting to be displayed up on the big-screen with nifty voice- and gesture-controls to impress your potential clients or investors. A SmartGlass device can be also be used for more intricate control and future Xbox One apps could easily add even more business functionality to the system should there exist a worthwhile user-base.
Personally, this seems like a clever strategy from Microsoft and it’s certainly something we haven’t seen done in the video games industry before. Perhaps employees can even be incentivised with Xbox sessions during their lunch breaks.
One thing that does bother me is how Microsoft will make a profit out of these sales. Sure, they could ship more consoles but both MS and Sony are making a sizeable loss on their consoles and will recoup these losses in software sales. You can’t do that if the consumer isn’t purchasing any games. Then again, my business knowledge is about as deep as a puddle so what do I know?