Blake Krikorian becomes corporate VP for Microsoft's Xbox unit; acquisition of R2 Studios confirmed.
Microsoft announced this morning that Slingbox co-creator Blake Krikorian has been named corporate vice president for the company's Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), which includes its Xbox unit. Krikorian will report to IEB chief product officer Marc Whitten.
Microsoft also confirmed today that it has acquired Krikorian's id8 Group R2 Studios, which The Wall Street Journal first reported last week. Microsoft reportedly beat out juggernauts like Apple and Google to grab Krikorian and R2 Studios. Terms of the acquisition were not divulged.
“I look forward to helping the team define the future of entertainment and contribute to the next decade of continued innovation,” Krikorian said in a statement.
It is not clear what R2 Studios had been developing prior to Microsoft's acquisition, though it was rumored the firm was creating technology related to "distributing and displaying digital media on TVs."
In addition to founding R2 Studios and Sling Media with his brother Jason, Krikorian served on the Amazon board and co-founded the Philips Mobile Computing Group.
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 system.
The writing is on the wall for Microsoft's future ventures. The all-in-one media device has been in the works for a while now. I have a feeling we'll see it at E3 this year (at least I'm hoping!), i.e. the next Xbox console. They are making a very very smart move with their ideas.
Along with that, they recently (almost) completed their tech eco-system. Windows 8, Microsoft Tablets, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox, all working seamlessly together.
They have voice and gesture communication on both the console, phone, and PC and are expanding on that. They have one of the most popular video/voice chat software integrated into their systems (or will be soon), Skype. They have dozes upon dozens of media companies onboard already with their Apps, offering direct connection to their services anywhere you go.
I could go on, but it's not hard to see that Microsoft has placed themselves well ahead of the competition moving into next-gen 'at-home' technology and seamless integration.
One of the smartest moves that MS has made for a long time.
Nextgens are going to be media centers anyways (Nintento ! :"()
my Slingbox is still going strong after 2+ years. And I bought the cheapest version. I'll tell you, aside from the DVR, it's one of the best inventions out there. I've never been an Xbox owner but I see where they're going with this: pushing the Xbox game straight to your phone or vice-versa. Not sure we need to pwn while we're waiting for a bus, though.
Ms has been making a lot of Acquisitions and moves as of late.I can't wait to see what comes out of them.
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