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Multimedia one of Xbox-II primary goals

in an interview yesterday with cnet bill gates outlined multimedia playback as one of microsoft’s primary goals with xbox 2; quote: “this whole story of the windows media connect and how all the formats and rights management and that simple media center menu that’s just got tv, photos, music right there–those are common elements we’re bringing to all the home devices. we didn’t do xbox just to do a video game; we did it to be part of our vision of the digital lifestyle, and with the next generation, we really get to go there. in the first generation, we had one simple goal, which was to establish credibility as a great video game platform. we’ve done that. actually, the last few months in the united states, we outsold sony with the playstation. so even though they have the biggest installed base, we are a very strong, credible no. 2 in that. as we go into this next generation, it’s much broader. yes, great video gaming but videogaming for a broader set of people, more communications, more media, more connectivity. and at the same time, we move up to things like high-definition graphics and wireless that the chip breakthroughs allow us to get to. so just for the games alone you’d go, wow, but the concept now of bringing in your music, your media, connecting to the pc, connecting xbox live to messenger–that just makes it a very big deal. edia center pc and xbox become totally complementary. you’ve seen a bit of that, where we let you take music from pcs and put it into game titles, and we have this extender concept where the media center can project through the xbox, but that’s just the start of what we can do there.”

read the full interview with bill gates on

…in the meantime xbmc is still going strong on the first xbox (but modded of course)