Posted by Dan Bell on 08 January 2004 - 20:23 - Source: Reuters
Info found from CDFreaks.com
In an interview at the CES, keynote speaker Bill Gates granted an interview prior to making his address in Las Vegas. Gates told Reuters the company would look to extend the functionality of the Xbox, the only game console to ship with a built-in hard drive and Ethernet connection.
"We are pushing the boundaries in terms of expanding what people think of as what the device can do," Gates said.
Last year, Microsoft released a title called "Xbox Music Mixer" that allows users to download music and photo albums from their PC to the console.
Later this year, Gates said, Microsoft will release a kit for the Xbox that will extend the functions of its Windows XP Media Center Edition to the console, turning it into a set-top box that allows the playback of live and recorded video, music and photos.
"You'll see us keep pushing the boundaries there," Gates said.
Microsoft has lately been active in recruiting staff to work on gaming hardware, although Gates declined to talk in much detail about the company's plans for the next generation of the Xbox, which is widely expected to come in 2005 or 2006.
Market leader Sony Corp., which has dominated the current generation of consoles with its PlayStation 2, has been similarly circumspect about its plans for a PS3.
"In terms of the next round, hey it's a new game. We're not showing our hand and I don't think Sony's showing their hand," Gates said. "We're doing some very cool work but that's really all we say at this point."
Gates went on to say he was very pleased with the acceptance of the XBox and considers this the "second round". Since it's release in 2001 Microsoft has battled Nintendo for second place in the US market and has consistently lost money in the process.
Some news to add to this, Sony just recently started their own music service which will come out soon with over 500,000 songs and 1 dollar per song. There has been no word yet if it will be affiliated with PS2 online yet.