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Microsoft talks "entertainment" future of Xbox, drops E3 hints

We're all for swooping in to save the day at the last second, by this is getting ridiculous. After a strong 2010, Microsoft's been eerily silent about what's next for its old-but-not-over-the-hill box. Or at least, that's been the case as far as games go. But the whole "videogame console" thing is only half the battle, and Microsoft's now got a much larger target in its sights: "entertainment."

"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," corporate communications VP Frank Shaw wrote in a blog post about Microsoft's vision for Xbox's future.

He also revealed that 40 percent of all Xbox use is now dedicated to non-game-related past-times. So, what's the next step? "More," Shaw said. "More options, more games, more videos, more entertainment."

Which is all well and good, but what about, you know, videogames? Those little doohickeys we messed around with before the advent of cutting-edge trends like non-interactive film? Don't worry. Microsoft hasn't forgotten. Its memories are probably just a little different than yours, is all.

"Today, there is no better gaming experience in the world," Shaw began. "Immersive games, sports games, games where you are the controller, games where you talk to your friends, games where you talk to the console, games that get you into shape, that make you laugh, that let you take a picture and share it with friends. Games that extend to your Windows 7 PC and your Windows Phone 7…and, of course, other devices to come…"

Other devices to come? Let us now all join in a collective "Hmmmmmm." You may also want to grow a beard or two and stroke them. For now, though, vague hints are all we've got, as Shaw then closed out with this little number:

"Next Monday at E3 in Los Angeles, the Xbox home entertainment pot will be boiling over during a 90-minute event... We’re continuing to deliver mind-blowing gaming experiences, and we are turning up the heat on a whole new era of home entertainment."

So then, you should probably pay attention to that. In the meantime, you could sniff around the rest of Shaw's post for clues - if only to lose yourself in a very elaborate frog metaphor that we wish this site was better equipped to cover. But alas, "Microsoft proves frogs can be art" is just outside our coverage zone. Sad day.

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