Earlier this week we asked you for your thoughts on the possibility of Microsoft releasing an Xbox 720 console with Blu-Ray support for games only, blocking the use of Blu-Ray movie playback. Now we have further information suggesting that voice chat is going to be one of the main upgrades for the next Xbox, with Skype replacing Xbox Live voice chat as the default software.
As most of you may already know, Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, meaning that they now have complete control over the company and have authority on where Skype becomes available for other use. It has been a strong rumor that Skype will be a close part of the Xbox 720 setup and now we’re hearing that Skype will now actually become the ‘center’ of Microsoft’s main communication services going forward.
That means that aside from functionality inside the next Xbox, Skype could end up as the default chat client across Windows PCs and tablet devices as well. As a knock on effect, it also means that we’ll say goodbye to MSN chat for good, as Microsoft is planning to replace it with a Skype chat client, as noted by a CVG article.
As one of the most reliable video chat services available online at the moment, we think that adding Skype integration as a main communication tool is a great idea. Cross game chat powered by Skype would be an impressive feature to add to the list of ‘next-generation’ features and it would be one main advantage that Microsoft would have over their rivals Sony and Nintendo.
One potential talking point though could be with the fact that Skype is a free service at the moment. How will Xbox Live users feel knowing they have to pay for the usage of Skype as part of their subscription, when it is free on PC and mobile devices? Perhaps Microsoft are planning some premium features that will be exclusive for Gold subscribers to make the service a lot more worthwhile.
Full integrated Skype support on the Xbox 720. Does this sound good to you or not? How will Sony and Nintendo compete with this?