Xbox marketing shifting focus to become 'an entertainment brand'

It's no secret that for most of its two-console life cycle, Xbox has primarily attracted hardcore gamers. But through initiatives like Kinect, and its early partnership with Netflix, Xbox is reaching a much broader audience. In a recent blog, Frank Shaw, Microsoft VP of Corporate Communications, discussed the company's intent on making Xbox much more than just a gaming device. "Xbox = entertainment" is the new mantra, and a new campaign will echo that sentiment. "You’ll see Xbox marketed more as an entertainment brand this year," Shaw notes.

With more than 10 million Kinects sold so far, and newfound success with casual gamers, it shouldn't be surprising that the Xbox is becoming increasingly a non-gaming platform. In fact, Shaw notes that 40 percent of all Xbox activity is "non-game," with an average of 30 hours of monthly video playback per system. Expanding its focus beyond gaming is precisely 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."

Shaw promises that next week's E3 conference will reveal "how far we’ve come." It's likely we'll see new video partnerships and new ways of using Kinect. And as exciting as that might be, we're hopeful Microsoft doesn't forget the real reason we're paying attention: we want great games.