The Xbox 360 and PS3 – like all consoles – were originally targeted at gamers.
However, both companies have aggressively moved to expand the scope and abilities of current-gen consoles beyond mere gaming to help the aging systems stay relevant.
For example, Microsoft has been pushing hard to make its game console the center of the modern digital home in recent years – with apparent success. Indeed, Redmond now confirms the console is currently used more for streaming movies, TV shows, and music than playing online video games.
Considering how many users still play video games online with their Xbox, it’s even more impressive just how many more are streaming video on the console.
“The original vision for the Xbox was for it to be the heart of connected digital entertainment and it has been amazing to watch the arc,” said Otto Berkes, a senior VP at HBO and former Microsoft Xbox exec.
Microsoft’s head of marketing and strategy for the Xbox division, Yusuf Mehdi, told the LA Times that 360 owners now spend an average of 84 hours a month on the Xbox live online service playing video games, watching movies, and listening to music. The latest stats represent an impressive 30% growth from last year, and Microsoft says that slightly over half that time is spent on video and music streaming.
“What we’re seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment,” Mehdi added.
Of course, one of the key reasons for the increase in streaming music and video on the Xbox has been Redmond’s ongoing quest to add more video services for users to choose from. Indeed, just this week Microsoft added HBO Go, Major League Baseball, and Comcast Xfinity video on-demand video services to its already impressive lineup. The new service join existing VoD heavyweights on the Xbox, including Netflix and YouTube.