Microsoft beats Apple, Google to acquire media startup - Report

Redmond technology giant buys Blake Krikorian's id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. and its patents for controlling electronic devices to bolster Xbox platform.

Microsoft has agreed to acquire a home entertainment startup--id8 Group R2 Studios Inc.--in an effort to bolster its Xbox unit, sources have told The Wall Street Journal.

The company was formed by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian, who created the Sling Box technology alongside his brother, Jason.

Blake Krikorian will join Microsoft with a "small team" of developers. Microsoft's acquisition of the company also includes some of the startup's patents, which are related to controlling electronic devices.

A price for the deal was not divulged and a Microsoft representative told GameSpot, “We do not comment on rumors or speculation."

According to the report, R2 Studios has been developing technology related to "distributing and displaying digital media on TVs." What's more, Apple and Google were also reportedly interested in acquiring the company, but Microsoft ended up winning out.

Microsoft has rapidly expanded its Xbox platform from a game-specific system to a hub for on-demand, live, and streaming video content. Microsoft has recently partnered with the likes of HBO, Comcast, Netflix, and YouTube for streaming services through the Xbox platform.

Microsoft announced in March last year that gamers in the United States spend more time with Xbox Live entertainment applications than they do playing multiplayer games over the service.

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Discussion

69 comments
jlefebre6001
jlefebre6001

cant stand this shit. who cares about voice recognition, motion contols, etc. it's just going to drive production costs up. just give us something worthwhile like a damn microphone in the controller or something. 

cubachino
cubachino

Hilarious the supposed hard core Xbox owning GAMER is actually watching TV. 

YYankee
YYankee

Keep it up Microsoft :)

3199eddie
3199eddie

What is with all this fear that the xbox is going to stop being about gaming in its coming iteration? I mean it has been a hugely successful venture for Microsoft so it will obviously keep the gaming, but all the extra multimedia functionality is just that an extra, you can use it or not its your choice; as it is on the xbox 360 so it will be on the next one. As far as the PS3 goes, it is exactly the same; full of multimedia extras and its next console will be aswell.

 

The argument between PSN and XBL is funny as yes PSN is free and XBL is charged for (at a relatively small amount if I am honest), but what should really be rated is the service received for what you pay. Now I don't have a PS3 so cannot comment on how well it handles MP gaming or its streaming/online content, but I can say Xbox 360 handles it extremelly well so I do not begrudge paying for the gold membership for MP, especially since they have added so much additional services for using the internet with the arrival of windows 8. I do, however, feel many of these services (such as IE) should have been available from the start or at least not 7 years after release.

Albaficas
Albaficas

doesnt matter

its really a matter of time till MS gets owned by apple and google 

SolidTy
SolidTy

It's hard to get excited when we aren't told exactly what it is.

 

We'll see what happens one day I guess.

mr-gadgets
mr-gadgets

Im pretty sure Sony and Nintendo arent dead broke. In the end it's all about the Benjamins

Jebril
Jebril

Every company is looking to streamline their OS's across all technology devices. I honestly can't see M$ being successful with it's lackluster approach Windows Phone and Windows 8 are very poorly received. Apple seems to have better success to me other than the fact that they have nothing really for TVs and consoles and while they are accepted in the mainstream they are also hated just as much by the mainstream. Google would be my pick if it wasn't for the fact that their OS is barely used and very limited. Can't forget about Ubuntu either, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Well this certainly explains why Sony is grabbing for it's slice...

bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

More people stream entertainment on the PS3... cuz.. its.. free.. 

VampireLord123
VampireLord123

I dont get it, why companies are pushing all this media stuff, I think they are over compensating. There is so many devices that do all these stuff, SMART TVs, Blu-ray players, iPod relate it products, Smart phones, etc. You only need one device to do all that stuff. Now you have every console doing it as well, at end it is all the same. 

raven98030
raven98030

Is this "Slingbox" they talking about?

juboner
juboner

i want to hear news about how microsoft spending money to push gaming not there multimedia BS seems like thats all they care about lately maybe ps4 is the way to go 

Sampawende
Sampawende

Lol ! It took that long to realize what an xbox was to begin with ?

hints : microsoft, windows ....

billlabowski
billlabowski

PC for gaming, Xbox for the best damn Netflix machine ever.

deth420
deth420

yeah im sticking with my sweet ass pc!!

Armyboy5
Armyboy5

I wish Xbox was only for gaming.. this is the reason why I'm getting PS4 next, although i am pretty happy with my X360 i guess

Marky360
Marky360

Wow seems like M$ got more patents under it's belt now expect to see more features that are exclusive to the Xbox platform because M$ Bought it. Personally I hate it when this happens as I'd rather use cool features on the Playstation platform over Xbox because M$ makes you pay for everything I mean it's actually rather comical how much you gotta pay for when you get a 360. There's Xboxlive then you gotta buy a HDD if you bought the 4gb model then you gotta buy a charge and play kit because Xbox's controllers run on batteries I mean it's ridiculous hell in the beginning you even had to buy WIFI separately. All that stuff comes included on the PS3 so I rather use the exclusive features I'm sure these patents will provide on Playstation but what ya gonna do M$ bought it so I'm sure whatever it is will be exclusive to Xbox.  

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

@steelmouth they bought a bunch of technology rights and the people who created and developed it

DRspence
DRspence

@3199eddie I've got both PSN and Xbox live, PSN plus is only good for the free games , everything else sucks and is hard to find. Xbox live is the best at everything! And that folks, is the cold hard truth!

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

 @3199eddie I agree with the OP whole heartedly, while most people who buy a consoles system will never take full advantage of all the multimedia features the fact is :

If you do not have a rich multimedia features set you will simple not draw in the 'heat seekers' the hard core gamers. Who not only know how to take advantage of these ancillary uses but use them freq. 

True most older gamers, very young, etc will have no interest (im 41 besides netflix don't really use to many other features on a console or pc) But when younger brothers and sisters see the hardcore set playing MP, live chat, internet, dlc, dgo, file sharing, media streaming, social, on and on they will want that system. And then demand future systems, they buy, have them also. 

Take my favorite console maker Nintendo - who shied away from internet, cd-rom, voice chat, multiplayer, well just about everything. They have pushed themselves into such a niche gaming console that soon they will not be taken seriously. 

 

I for one am all about the game, but the game is now alot more varied incontent then before and i want a system that will take advantage of it to the fullest. 

Albaficas
Albaficas

apple is already taking over worldwide

bignick217
bignick217

 @SolidTy Excited?  Probably not.  But if you don't know what the sling box was, it was pretty cool.  A friend of mine used a sling box on his satellite box to stream whatever was playing on his satellite online (only for his own personal use of course) so he could watch his satellite tv at work.  I got to see it working.  It was pretty cool.

YYankee
YYankee

 @Jebril Despite weak sales numbers Windows Phone's have received a lot of favorable reviews. It will only be a matter of time before more people start jumping ship to Windows Phone imo. Apple has recently seen a plummet in their stock and I think a lack of variety from model to model and the very high price tag are some key reasons.

tgwolf
tgwolf

 @bdiddytampa And because PS3 isn't trash...don't leave that important detail out.

deathstream
deathstream

 @VampireLord123

 Computing is shifting from the desktop to the sofa.  Everyone wants to be THE device that you turn to when you sit down on your living room couch.

mr-gadgets
mr-gadgets

 @VampireLord123 Are you going to use those same exact devices over the next 7-8 years? No you are going to upgrade them, and when its time to do so the new box will seem much more practical

 

m4a5
m4a5

 @juboner Last I checked, gamers are gaming on the 360 just fine (one of the best paid services). Heck, MS put quite a bit of cash into Halo 4.....

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @billlabowski PS3 for the cheapest Blu-ray player available (at least when PS3 launched).

deon99
deon99

 @Armyboy5 This makes no since.I love the fact that my   three and four hundred dollar consoles can do more that just play games, all these added services and addons' gives the console more value imo.

 

also you say your getting a ps4 next generation and you hoping to get it mainly for gamin?lol Sony's console is the most used console for Netflix, friend. plus, most of the people who have ps don't even play games,They just watch Bu Rays and play music.

 

If you want to game you have to go where the gamers are and that is Xbox.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

 @Armyboy5 Why do you think that the PS4 will be less multimedia than the next XBox?

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

 @Marky360 yes you have to pay extra for few things on xbox, but, you know, ms is much bigger company than sony, their expectations and bottom line is much higher, they have to please a lot more shareholders and thus need to earn a lot more profit. they compete with google and apple whose products almost everyone in the world uses. even their latest big thing kinect is an experiment towards much bigger things than actually something for gamers. please adjust your expectations accordingly. 

Soleride
Soleride

 @Marky360 i agree with Fail_Tr0LL, its an amazing service i started with PS3 at the beginning of this generation and shifted within 24 hours of having to Xbox 360 and never regretted it since the PS3 is a upscaled PSP system basically with some fancy features and little to no decent games, i pay for Xbox LIVE because the service is epic and gets better and better the HDD to buy i chose to do that myself as i am not a casual gamer, difference between Microsoft and Sony, Microsoft are bold and actually believe in their product which is why do this because they know it will work and also it secures extra profit to channel back into the system, Sony well just look at them their struggling and are probably estatic that this gen is coming to an end because they themselves know the PlayStation 3 completely failed in all areas the PlayStation 2 succeeded i mean god the PS2 outsold the PS3 in the PS3's first two years on the market says alot about that system and the Xbox 360 was competing against the PS2 at this point too. PS3 = Epic Fail  

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

 @Marky360 "Microsoft makes you pay for everything"

 

...pretty sure I chose to buy xbox live, a hard drive, and a rechargeable battery pack. Maybe there was a gun pointed at my head that I was unaware of?

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @Albaficas yeah... say that the 12 million people logged on to steam using their PC's...

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

@brothersinarmsb @bdiddytampa Saying live silver is free is like saying air is free. What exactly do you get with silver?

bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

 @brothersinarmsb you can't stream any entertainment for free on live silver... none, you have to have Gold to do anything. Sure you can download stuff, but that kinda defeats the purpose of STREAMING

VampireLord123
VampireLord123

 @mr-gadgets

 But you will still have them no matter what, If you buy a SMART TV now you will have for at least five years even more than that. Even if you decide to buy a new one, it will probably have it. If you get a new smart phone, you still have it. Exact the same with Smart Blur-ray products and Apple Tv, even if you upgrade you still have it.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

 @m4a5  @juboner a lot of the xbl money you pay for could be going to you know, ACTUAL GAMES instead of entertainment crap and cod dlc exclusivity -_-

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

 @deon99  Xbox is also used for multimedia more than gaming. MS have said it themselves.  So they're on the same boat.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

 @deon99  @Armyboy5i think his point was while the xbox has all these cool media features its got bugger all exclusives compared to the PS3

 

Marky360
Marky360

@vaibhavp

I'm sorry but that excuse just doesn't fly with me. I don't care how big of a company Microsoft is or what shareholders they gotta please if I see a better deal elsewhere I'm going there and at this point PSN is the better deal so until M$ steps it's game up with Xboxlive I'm on PSN exclusively

96augment
96augment

 @Soleride  The PS3 had Demon Souls, Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, MGS 4, Killzone 2, Ratchet and Crank: A Crack in Time, LittleBigPlanet,  Gran Turismo 5, Infamous, God of War 3, Journey, and a bunch of other games. The PS3 didn't "fail in all areas the Playstation 2 succeeded".

Marky360
Marky360

@Soleride @FAIL_TR0LL

I'm sorry but you guys have got to be kidding me. You gotta be blind sheep if your going to defend M$ money grabbing tactics. I'm not saying the Xbox 360 is a bad console I mean I have one I just hate the fact it was so cheap in the beginning and still kinda is I got my Xbox 360 in 2006 I got the pro model but I still had to turn around and buy a charge and play kit to be able to use my controllers because all they came with was batteries I mean what is this the 90's? I got my PS3 in 2008 I got the 40gb model I was shock to see how much of a complete package it was compared to the 360 I mean rechargable controllers right out of the box wifi and when I played on PSN and found it was basically the same thing I was getting with Xboxlive but it was free well that was it for me I never used Xboxlive again unless it was a free weekend. I'm sorry but theres no denying the PS3's a better deal then the 360.

VampireLord123
VampireLord123

 @Soleride  @Marky360I think you are deluded man. The PS3 has sold almost the same number of consoles than the 360 and Microsoft had one year advavntage owed to the fact that came out on 2005. Besides, Sony exclusive title offer better production values than Microsoft and has a number of first party titles superior to the 360 and the PS2 outsold the  Xbox 360 as well and pretty much every console except for the DS.

 

The Xbox is not a bad system,  you are just not analyzing it correctly. The Xbox offers almost the same experiences than the PS3 except for exclusives. Right now, is almost the same to buy either one of the consoles.

 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

 @FreedomPrime  @Albaficas where do you people keep getting these figures from. I mean i love steam to (bought a pack of strategy rpgs cheap !), but even they reported their highest active was 6.1 million in 11/12 and only 1/2 of them were playing most checking status.  The have 24 million people who have signed up for steam. 

I mean just do a google or wiki check. 

mr-gadgets
mr-gadgets

 @VampireLord123 Cmon cant you see Im trying to defend the manufacturers of my favorite console.  Yes I do still have my first Playstation. 

I just don't see it as that bad a thing to have all these options and I think all developers and manufacturers will try to give these features to us Sony MS and Nintendo. In all honesty I wish the new xbox wasn't coming out til 2014 and I bought my 360 Feb 2005

Marky360
Marky360

@mr-gadgets

As far as I know no not any officially licensed ones anyway I've seen a couple 3rd party ones though

Soleride
Soleride

 @VampireLord123  @Marky360 Nah not deluded may have not been that upto date with info not been gaming since last year from what i remember that was the story.