Microsoft Hints At Xbox 360's 'Entertainment Strategy' Before E3 2011

What does Microsoft have planned for its E3 2011 showing? Probably plenty of Kinect-centric fare and heretofore unannounced (officially anyway) video games. But the company is also teasing a new "entertainment brand" focus for the console and its motion controller.

Frank X. Shaw, corporate VP of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, writes on the Official Microsoft Blog, "For the last 10 years at Microsoft, we've been turning up the heat on how we think about Xbox, and next week at E3 you will get a chance to see how far we've come."

Much of Shaw's posting cheers on the company's console, with sales figures and general feelgoodery about how amazing the Xbox 360 is. But here's where it gets potentially interest (or worrying, for people who only like to play video games on their consoles.

"[S]omething interesting has happened in the last few years," Shaw writes. "While people are still playing a ton of video games, 40 percent of all Xbox activity now is non-game. Put another way, we're seeing an average of 30 hours of video consumption per month per Xbox, a number that is growing fast. And people are expecting more – more options, more games, more videos, more entertainment."

Shaw continues:

The vision for Xbox is straightforward: All of the entertainment you want. With the people you care about. Made easy. That is why you've seen us invest in partnerships with ESPN, Netflix and Hulu. That is why we've baked social directly into the experience with Xbox LIVE – connecting gamers, friends and families across the globe. That is why you'll see Xbox marketed more as an entertainment brand this year. And that is why we're investing so much in Natural User Interface technologies (speech, touch, gestures) to make the entertainment experience that much easier-and more fun. With Kinect, we've made NUI real for millions of people, and we've only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible.

Of course, we'll be covering Microsoft's E3 2011 keynote next Monday where we'll know more, but if you'd like to speculate about what "entertainment" means in terms of new Xbox 360 features, please take it to the comments.

Microsoft Hints At Xbox 360's 'Entertainment Strategy' Before E3 2011

Xbox: Now That's Entertainment [The Official Microsoft Blog]