Microsoft has bought up R2 Studios, a startup from the makers of the Slingbox, in a deal that had both Apple and Google in the running for highest bidder. However it looks like Microsoft was able to secure the top spot, winning itself several patents in the process.
Combined with the fact that Microsoft has been pushing its Xbox 360 as more of a media centre than gaming device these days – and the fact that it could be releasing a next-gen system that is purely media focused – makes the reasoning behind this buy quite obvious. Whether it will give it an edge in the increasingly competitive market remains to be seen, but with Apple and Google both missing out on the deal, it should give the software giant something to work with.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the patents secured as part of the deal, are related to the way media is streamed and displayed on TVs, so this will line up nicely with Microsoft's future aims for its lounge console.
As well as main screen additions, it's also possible this sort of buy could help Microsoft further advance its Smartglass platform.
KitGuru Says: The future of the console is media it seems, with more and more people using them as set-top boxes instead of for blowing each other up. I wonder what that says about the potential for the next-gen?