According to a recent study from Strategy Analytics, gaming consoles have become the preferred method within U.S. households for watching online movies, television and Web video on televisions. Approximately 12 percent of U.S. households (15 million) use a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 to consume online media. This percentage of people is much higher than consumers hooking up a PC to a television or third-party, set-top box solutions like the media streamer from Roku. While the personal computer remains the dominant device for consuming online media, 65 percent of Xbox 360 owners under the age of 25 watch more movies and television shows through the console rather than on a desktop or laptop computer.
Both Microsoft and Sony have taken strides over the last twelve months to make the Xb0x 360 and PlayStation 3 more attractive for gamers that consumer entertainment. Last November, Sony partnered with Vudu to bring a wider selection of high definition movies to the platform. During October, Microsoft announced a barrage of partners for Web streaming content in addition to cable TV content. Partners include Comcast, Bravo, HBO, TMZ, ESPN, Crackle, Verizon and AT&T. According to Microsoft, video consumption has tripled over the previous year and Xbox Live users collectively spend more than two billion hours a month on the premium service.
Many of the included video updates announced last month by Microsoft will become available when the Fall dashboard update goes live to all Xbox 360 owners. As of November1, the Fall update is currently undergoing close Beta testing. Beta testers have been supplied with a 25-digit code to redeem through the Xbox Live dashboard. Microsoft then supplies the dashboard update to the console tied to the account within three to five days. Beta testers are under a non-disclosure agreement for the duration of the test which is expected to last up to three months according to the original email from Microsoft.