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Achievement Unlocked: Watched TV

AJ Dellinger | 19 Mar 2012 13:00
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The interactivity doesn't have to stop just at the ability to communicate, though. The conversation can be streamlined into a game of its own. Have some trivia relevant to the current programming pop up on the screen during commercials to keep them engaged. It can be for fun to pass the time, or it can have some value. For example, the person in the party with the most points gets to pick the next show. Just make sure never to invite that one friend that always dominates Trivial Pursuit. You know he's going to pick some boring documentary about candle making or radical Jewish gangs or something when he wins.

Once non-gamers see the appeal of the Xbox Live platform, Microsoft has them in the perfect position to be converted into members of their main clientele.

Once non-gamers see the appeal of the Xbox Live platform, Microsoft has them in the perfect position to be converted into members of their main clientele. When normal ads run on broadcast television, sneak game commercials in for upcoming titles for those that watch on the Xbox. Open up channels that will broadcast major gaming events and hire some decent commentators to deliver entertaining play-by-play. Those that start using the Xbox just for television will more than likely catch one of the people on their friends list playing a game at some point. Expose them to the games that will no doubt be plastered all over the Live Dashboard when they log in. Let them know that their conversion is inevitable so they may as well become educated on what everyone else is playing.

The biggest challenge that Microsoft faces with bringing television to Xbox Live isn't necessarily a cost concern, though that will be an uphill battle on its own depending on what the final price tag will be for a subscription. We know that people still pay for cable and both Hulu Plus and Netflix still have growing user bases. Instead, Microsoft needs to make sure the content is presented in a way that no one else can. People can watch their favorite programs on the show or station's website, through Hulu or Netflix, at a variety of less-than-legal outlets, or on that whole television thing. Microsoft has to prove that their service is that much better than every other option, not just another aggregator of media. The company already has a very particular demographic that are lassoed into the system: gamers. While their taste may be diverse, it's the features that Xbox Live offers that keeps millions of users jumping online every night. Instead of trying to appease an extremely wide and undefinable audience by pandering in a way that risks isolating their current patrons, show the rest of the entertainment world why gamers find the Xbox Live service so engaging.

AJ Dellinger is a freelance writer from Madison, Wisconsin. His work can be found on a variety of sites from Mac|Life to Guyism to his personal blog. He also occasionally writes biographies in the third person.

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