Implications of IPTV-enabled Xbox 360?

You’ve watched or listened to the keynote, checked out the interface screenshots, watched the video, or simply heard about it through one of the 250+ news organizations that have already covered Microsoft’s plans to add IPTV capability to the Xbox 360 in time for consumermas 2007.

So what?

What might this mean for the console wars? How will this change the game? We’re not nearly as smart or creative as our collected readership (after all, Time made YOU the person of the year), so rather than rack our brains, we’ll sift through yours and publish the best responses in a subsequent post.

Task: in your pithy best, share how you believe that this announcement might change the console war now underway, if at all.

Let’s get a couple obvious ones out of the way first:

  • A larger hard drive is assured. Ain’t no DVR going on with a measly 20GB hard drive.
  • Perhaps content partners might offer free Xbox 360s to consumers who purchase multi-month (or multi-year) IPTV service contracts, in much the same way that mobile phone service providers offer highly subsidized phones for customers who sign a one- or two-year service agreement.
  • Sony announces intent to match this functionality, but does as well copying Xbox IPTV as they’ve done copying Xbox Live.

Xbox: Your Next TV Receiver?

360Dean Takahashi — and this is a man who knows his Xbox, having written two books on the subject — says that Microsoft has yet another announcement for CES regarding Xbox 360. Apparently, after patting themselves on the back for moving ten million units, they’ll announce that the console will, later this year, be usable as a set-top box for IPTV. That’s television via the Interwebs.

For sure, there are a ton of unanswered questions here. But the prospects are interesting. Could AT&T give away Xbox 360s for free in exchange for users signing up for subscriptions to IPTV service, which gives high-definition programs, video on demand, and digital video recording? Will Microsoft have to come out with a larger hard disk drive for the Xbox 360 in order to allow it to fulfill the digital video recording function?

All very interesting questions. Will this affect the console war? Depends on how crazy they’re gonna go with it. If they do pursue partnerships like the ones Takahashi speculates about, they could see their userbase skyrocket. By the way, doesn’t this factor in somehow to the whole net-neutrality debate?

Microsoft Crosses 10 Million Xbox 360s Sold [Mercury News]