Back at the XBOX One’s announcement event in 2013, Microsoft infamously placed the bulk of it’s focus on Kinect, sports, and – most importantly – TV. While Microsoft has altered their messaging since then, many of the console’s early influences remain, including voice commands with Kinect and the ability to run a cable box through the XBOX hardware. One of the best features implemented as a result of this focus is a more recent one.
Last May, Microsoft announced that the XBOX One would gain the ability to plug a USB TV Tuner into their console and take advantage of the OneGuide while watching live, over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts straight from their console. A few months after that feature was implemented, Microsoft took it a step further, announcing that the ability to record live OTA broadcasts on XBOX One would be coming in 2016. Today, that dream was put to rest with Microsoft announcing that their DVR initiative has been placed on hiatus.
The XBOX team has worked hard to change the brand’s image after an unfocused initial message. While the ability to record OTA broadcasts would be an excellent feature, it’s one that was seemingly at odds with Microsoft’s future plans for XBOX. Alongside today’s announcement, a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying that “[a]fter careful consideration, we’ve decided to put development of DVR for Over-the-Air TV on hold to focus our attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming experiences across Xbox One and Windows 10.”
With comments like these, it seems that the XBOX brand is moving back towards a “gaming first” mentality, no longer trying to be the all-in-one box that Microsoft initially envisioned. This probable strategy is also supported by rumors of two upcoming XBOX One hardware updates as well as an increased focus on tying XBOX One in with Windows 10. I imagine that this future will be made clearer on Monday at the XBOX E3 press conference.