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.