In spite of assurances to the contrary at the outset of the Xbox project, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates yesterday confirmed that the looming Xbox 360 console will act as a home entertainment hub.
Speaking to delegates at the annual meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Gates made the first concrete commitment to the firm?s long-suspected expansion of its games console into the realms of digital media conduit.
"If you're used to [the Windows XP Media Centre Edition] menu, when you use this Xenon, you'll see a menu a lot like that that lets you get photos, TV, music and all those different things," he said.
Although Microsoft executives have been laying groundwork for future media expansion of Xbox, this is the first time such a detailed glimpse has been offered, with many analysts surprised that Gates would reveal plans for base-level user interface at this critical time in the development of three major home consoles at three competing companies.
As you may know, the new Microsoft console is slated for its debut appearance on May 12. Click here to check local listings
. For a look at the finalised hardware design of Xbox 360, click here