Who was there: David McLean, Microsoft Australia's head for the Xbox 360 business Down Under.
What they talked about: At the Gametech conference held in Sydney this morning, the head of the Aussie Xbox 360 business, David McLean, used his speech to the assembled delegates to outline Microsoft's view of the connected future.
McLean began his speech by giving props to the Halo series, saying that without it, the Xbox business may not have been here today. In the 10 years since the first game's launch, however, McLean says that the games business has changed dramatically, with people's experiences no longer exclusive to any particular medium. Consumers are becoming more complex and connected and now have a higher expectation about content, who provides it, how it's delivered, and how it's consumed.
McLean says that the gaming audience is at the forefront of this change, making use of both local and global statistics to bolster his argument. In Australia, for example, he cited that one in five people accessed the Internet through a gaming console, while 15 percent watched television through their gaming devices. Globally, he reiterated the statistic that 40 percent of activity on the Xbox 360 is not game-related and added that close to 30 hours of video are consumed on Microsoft's home console every month.
Focusing even further on the Australian experience, McLean said that roughly 50 percent of Xbox 360 users Down Under are connected to Xbox Live. He also revealed an interesting statistic about Foxtel on Xbox, the pay TV service launched on the 360 late last year: McLean says that the Foxtel application for the 360 was downloaded more than 170,000 times, a number that he expects to grow significantly given the recent announcement of unmetered Foxtel via 360 on Telstra BigPond.
Finally, McLean confirmed the recent announcement that Aussie Kinect users will be able to use their voice to control the 360 before the end of this year, although no tighter time frame was disclosed.
Takeaway: Microsoft sees the future of entertainment as being on multiple screens and says that consumers want to be able to access their content anywhere, anytime.