Xbox Live popularizes VoIP

— 2:38 AM on February 6, 2004

C|Net is running an interesting article on how Microsoft and Sony's online gaming services have quickly become the first major consumer application of voice-over-IP technology.

"It gets consumers more familiar with VoIP in a sort of sneaky way," said Billy Pidgeon, an analyst at research firm Zelos Group. "It's tough to think that would get consumers to go with VoIP to replace their normal telephone provider...but it provides a technical and social and behavioral laboratory for the use of VoIP within a certain context."
The article points out that VoIP quality isn't something many gamers are concerned with, which may have made it easier for Microsoft to implement voice communications in its Xbox Live service. Still, it's impressive to see a gaming service feeding VoIP to over 750,000 customers, even if it's primarily being used to talk smack.
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