As I’m going through my mail I find a very catchy and unique Verizon FiOS brochure promoting a very special deal/offer when you sign up for their service. Yeah, that’s great, just another way for Verizon to get you to switch. Well, no — you see, this was definitely not just any ordinarily advertising brochure. Verizon and Microsoft apparently teamed up to give away a very familiar game to all, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, when you sign up for the Verizon FiOS 2 year service, including 12 months of Xbox Live. You are probably thinking…ok, so what’s the big deal. Well, for a 35/35 Mbps Internet connection, the deal is pretty phenomenal, but that’s not the point.
The thing that makes this incredibly interesting and what makes Microsoft’s services stand out and continue to succeed with their current system, the Xbox 360, is what is written on the brochure itself – “Use Kinect to change the channels with your voice.” As gamers we know about this feature, but while most gaming enthusiast are either loving or hating Kinect, Microsoft is campaigning to the rest of the world, not just the gaming population. Microsoft is gaining users by exposing offers like these. When you read things like, ‘What the Kinect can do’ or “Live TV content, Including HBO and ESPN delivered directly to your Xbox 360” it opens the eyes of the non-gamers as well.
Companies like Verizon trust and stand behind Microsoft’s services and hardware so much that they are willing to highlight the benefits of combining Microsoft’s LIVE features and Kinect with their own FiOS service. This is no longer aimed at the hard-core gamers; this is for everybody receiving mail.
Watch how Microsoft is playing the field; it’s all focused on service (Xbox LIVE) and interaction (Kinect). As long as Microsoft continues to update their LIVE service and continues to implement interactive Kinect features, the Xbox 360 won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. This is no longer a race about motion gaming, Microsoft has left that race behind and is running a service aimed at everybody with a television and the desire to have fun. Services like these are the future and Xbox LIVE is leading the pack. And as far as hard-core games go…well, the system can still deliver some graphically intense games, which make us wonder how they the Xbox 360 can still do it, after all these years.