Entertainment apps overtake multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live

Need further proof that the next Xbox might be a more media-centric device? The Verge has learned that Xbox Live members are using their consoles more for media consumption than for multiplayer gaming. Single-player gaming isn’t included in that assessment, which appears to be limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Still, it’s an interesting shift for the game console.

In just the last year, Xbox Live members have reportedly doubled the amount of time they spend with "entertainment apps." The number of hours of video consumed has risen by 140% according to official Microsoft blogger Major Nelson. Those increases increase fueled a 30% jump in the total number of hours logged by subscribers. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Xbox Live now boasts numerous virtual channels, including feeds from Disney, ESPN, HBO, Hulu, MSNBC, Netflix, YouTube, and others. FOX News has an app in the works, too; let’s hope it includes the channel’s always entertaining video game coverage.

The fact that sports are available via Xbox Live makes the service particularly compelling for those considering cutting the cord on their cable TV service. Although I’ve not played around with many media apps on the Xbox, the interface is certainly nicer to use than the unresponsive mess of a set-top box provided by my cable provider.

Comments closed
    • Vivaldi
    • 8 years ago

    Talk about insult to injury. Let me get this straight…

    If I were to buy a 360, I’d have to pay a service charge for the privilege of accessing a basic streaming app that’s free for most if not all other distribution platforms. Strike one.

    Meanwhile, in the land of mediocre, unregulated monopolies, I have $ISP imposing completely arbitrary data capping in the name of “network management”– unnecessarily breathing down my neck about Netflix HD streaming eating up too much of the little bandwidth I’m afforded, although I’m paying a premium (by global standards) on that as well. Sure, they offer to increase my speed, but wait… not my capacity! Sure, allow me to download faster so I can hit the wall faster–that’s just genius. </sarcasm>

    So now it’s necessary to curtail my own access to a service I have paid for. Strike two.

    Then there’s the content providers themselves, withholding, out of what I can only understand to be unabashed greed, the good programming from the Netflix catalog. Strike three. You’re out.

    I’m getting punched in the face while I get kicked in the balls while I get pounded in the… you get the idea.

    What the hell is happening to this industry/country? The 360 appears more and more to be an MS money grab, Sony can’t be trusted to competently handle user personal information, and the Wii hasn’t been a serious competitor in years, except for being little more than a novelty with their hit titles (in my opinion).

    At some point, you screw the pooch so badly, that I turn around and I scale back my data plan to the bare minimum, cancel Netflix, ban consoles from the household, and fund the kids’ Steam holidays, when good games go ridiculously cheap every once in a while. I can’t describe the anger and sadness I feel regarding these issues. What’s worse is the sense of defeat, knowing that the TR readership’s understanding and sympathy for these issues truly represents the minority.

      • mcnabney
      • 8 years ago

      Or you could just hook your gaming PC up to your HDTV instead of using a console. Just what part of a console is not designed to be a worm with a hook in it? When they start out selling these things for a loss, you know that they have other plans for controlling you.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Perhaps because the X360 is most definitely aging and people are getting tired of rehashes that look the same… meanwhile it still functions perfectly well as a HTPC (gasp).

    I know a lot of people who use their Xbox or PS3 simply as a media player. Heck I know a lot of people who bought the PS3 simply because it was cheaper then buying a blu-ray player at the time.

    Remember folks, correlation does not always imply causation.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve got another six months or so on my gold subscription, and then I’m done. I never play online anymore (save for a match of Gotham City Imposters here and there), and I’ve got my tablet and hdmi cable for Netflix. Heck, I’ll probably have a system built by then and have no need for an xbox.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Xbox Live can bite me. That shiz should be free. Why do I have to give MS money so I can spend money? Eff that. Makes me cursing mad. I haven’t turned on my Xbox in months and my kids don’t even ask to play it anymore. Actually I play DVDs in it all the time so that’s not technically true…

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 8 years ago

      .tniop no si edom-pilf

        • flip-mode
        • 8 years ago

        Ha ha. That took me a minute or two.

      • Welch
      • 8 years ago

      Ahaha, I just opted not to get another microsoft product in the house, bought a PS3 back in the day and glad I did. From day one I told my friend he was an idiot for paying for XboX live, I agree, why pay a monthly fee to give them even more cash. At least with the PS3 I have the option of using some of their horrible implementations of an online service without any fee.

      Seems to me that those of us who are “Computer Literate” who bought consoles in a moment of weakness (or for some reason) use them for not much more than a Netflix box or DVD/Bluray player.

      Unless of course your into modding and putting an alternate OS on your console, whole nother story there 🙂

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 8 years ago

        My PlayStation 3 is an excellent Blu-ray player (including support for 3D, if you’re into that sort of thing). Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Guitar Hero & Rock Band are all games worth playing on the PS3.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          This. And I get my weekly fix of Skyrim through PS3. Other fun ones from the past: GTA IV, ES IV, MGS IV…

          Also, it’s an excellent Netflix streamer; the first to implement closed captioning, handles internet download speed variance like a champ, and the interface is about 37x faster than the one in Roku.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            I just wish it would get an ESPN3 app, why not Sony, why not?

          • Kurotetsu
          • 8 years ago

          This is wildly off-topic but, how does the PS3 stack up to current-gen Bluray players? I know it was one of the best 3-4 years ago, but is that still the case? Or has the current gen of players left it behind?

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            As a BluRay player, at least my $100 Panasonic is pretty much on par with PS3, and it’s much quieter when playing a movie..

            So, I’d say the current gen has at least reached parity, at a much lower price.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            It was the best because it was the cheapest option and was decently supported, it isn’t anymore.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 8 years ago

            It’s not the cheapest Blu-ray player anymore, but it still does very well. Frequent system updates keep the features up-to-date.

            My PS3 (Motostorm edition) is much quieter than my cousin’s of the same vintage.

            • Kurotetsu
            • 8 years ago

            That’s good to know. I got a cheap $60 Bluray player a 1-2 years back and, while it plays back Blurays well enough, the interface and seek responsiveness are both slow as frozen crap. Its good to know that I’d be making a step up if I were to get a PS3 (I want to, but I keep pushing it back every month for whatever reason).

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            It isn’t anymore was referring to the price, not the system as a whole… I should’ve stipulated that. :l

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    And now [url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jsp?product=xbox&partnerId=ed-5719464-258133626<]MLB.tv[/url<] will be available on XBox Live (Gold). Announced a while ago and supposed to be available for Spring Training but I guess they got it out the door just in time for the regular season instead. Expensive, and blackout restrictions still apply, but it's been [url=http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/164/major-league-baseball-advanced-media-bam?partner=gnews<]a huge money-spinner[/url<] on other platforms even without the fun(?) Kinect enhancements.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Icehockey > baseball.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        Women’s college sports with jumping/bouncing > *

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    Its ‘funny’ that you can install netflix on pretty much any devices and be good to go…

    But on an xbox, microsoft wants $60 a year for you to use netflix? what?
    Thats almost double netflix monthly cost.

    So I just use my xbox 360 as extenders with a remote controle (goes directly to MCE).
    Dont play anything on them (I have a PC), dont subscribe to Xbox live.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    xbox live is such a load of rubbish. Hey guess what after you pay your premium its add supported! Oh and don’t forget most games run on p2p servers making the load on live next to nothing. For all the money microsoft makes on live beyond the premium its ridiculous that they even charge all it does is segment their user base further without adding real value.

    I don’t buy my premium member ship, my cousins and friends who want me to play with them do.

    • Thresher
    • 8 years ago

    Hard to really read anything into this metric.

    The only people that can do all this stuff is the self selected customer base that subscribes to XBox Live Gold. So, are these people buying Gold specifically for these other features and wouldn’t buy it otherwise? There are quite a few ways that this could be read, none of which are really covered by this.

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      What I was thinking. I imagine that a lot of this time spent on apps would otherwise be spent at a proper computer, or it says more about the general app trend and how people [b<]with[/b<] access to apps [b<]will[/b<] use them.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    And what MS is learning is that people are willing to drop $60/yr to use software installed on their $200 device. It’s not like there’s a ton of upkeep required to connect to Netflix or Hulu+ like there is maintaining multiplayer servers.

      • EsotericLord
      • 8 years ago

      That might be the sticker price, but only a foolish fool would really pay that. I’ve yet to pay more than $40 for a year of XBL.

      My last year only cost me $30.

      [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16874103258[/url<] There's one for $34 right now, and sales like that are really common.

        • superjawes
        • 8 years ago

        I haven’t subbed to Gold in years now…but I get stuff like this:

        “Come back to Xbov Live! Only $40!”

        “Please? Please come back to Xbox Live. Only $30!”

        “$20 for Xbox Live! What? You’ll pay that? Okay, fine! $10!”

        I considering how many “sales” they’ve tried to give me, I think they probably make more money by doing said discounts.

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          you’re not a worry for them. have you seen the new xbox gold customer count? it’s retarded.

        • Thresher
        • 8 years ago

        I wait for the $1 or $2 sales before I renew. I haven’t had more than a few weeks without XBox Live in the past year.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      what servers, lol its all p2p hosting 😛

        • EsotericLord
        • 8 years ago

        Almost all, anyways. A few games have dedicated servers, notiably L4D 1&2, Gears of War 3, as well as pretty much all EA games.

        Of course, we see how wonderful dedicated servers really are now, since EA has started taking down servers for games less than 2 years old.

          • kamikaziechameleon
          • 8 years ago

          yeah that’s and handled and paid for by the dev/publisher so the 60 dollars seems like even more of a rip off.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Xbox does not have dedicated servers. They do matchmaking and then everything is peer-to-peer. Xbox live is the biggest ripoff in the world.

        • Frith
        • 8 years ago

        It’s true.

        You pay for the Xbox 360
        You pay for your internet connection
        You pay for the games
        Online games are hosted by players

        Microsoft then charge you $60 per year for absolutely nothing.

        I can’t believe anyone pays it, but you get a lot of people saying “it’s worth it!”. They’re paying good money and getting nothing back and say it’s worth it?! If Valve tried to charge $60 per year to use Steam people would laugh at them, but for some reason Xbox 360 owners quite happily hand over their money.

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          and yet almost every person who has an xbox buys it….

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            And this is why they should’ve bought PS3 instead.

            • David
            • 8 years ago

            Bought one. It’s online capabilities are lackluster.

            The $40/year I pay for Gold is worth it for the better all-around online implementation.

            I will cede that Microsoft is definitely has some money-grubbing policies.

            • travbrad
            • 8 years ago

            That and the infinitely better controller layout. The Xbox controller has always been awkward for me and it’s the worst controller layout I’ve ever used by far.

            I also vowed to never buy a Sony product again though, after every Sony product I’ve ever owned has failed, so that doesn’t really leave any options for console gaming. :p

          • EsotericLord
          • 8 years ago

          Everything is relative. ~$35 a year to be able to play games with my friends all over the country, and have all my favorite video apps (netflix, hulu, vudu) in one location is a no brainer.

          I nearly make up the difference just making use of the XBL Gold sales on games. $4 here and $5 there adds up over a year.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            A computer or PS3 can do the same thing and doesn’t cost $35 a year.

            • EsotericLord
            • 8 years ago

            Very true. And avoiding all the “xbox does this but PS3 does that” nonsense, heres one fact:

            All my friends have 360s. Only a few have PS3s or a gaming capable PC. I’d rather pay $35 a year to play with my friends than game alone for free.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            That’s fine, but it doesn’t make live any less of a ripoff.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Also a solid argument.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            A solid argument.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Aye, too bad consoles weren’t an open platform… say… like a computer…

            This is why closed systems are bad and consoles should die.

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