Compared to the PS3, the Xbox 360 is decidedly lacking in multi-media features. You've got Sky, sure; Netflix in North America, too; and the Zune Pass, which allows you to load and listen to music. It's not exactly streamlined, however, and a lot of it is premium; ergo, at a cost. However, it appears Microsoft is set to bolster the 360's musical options, with Xbox Music set for release at the end of the year.
[UPDATE: Microsoft has suggested that this information is "inaccurate," and that Ballmer was just referring to the existing Zune music functionality. We'll keep you posted. - Ed]
During an interview with Business Insider over Microsoft's recent acquisition of Skype, CEO Steve Ballmer made a cursory announcement of the so-called Xbox Music. Seemingly an overhaul of the Zune Marketplace, it'll contain over 11 million songs to download and listen to, with full Kinect support already integrated. So if you're in the mood to listen to, let's say, Coldplay - or Odd Future, depending on conflicting tastes - simply blare out the word and Kinect will process it all and load it up. We imagine!
It's a wise move for Microsoft, as in order to keep the 360 going amid tough competition from Sony and Nintendo, they'll have to bolster their defenses with a number of incremental improvements. Increasing their multi-media strengths can't go wrong. [Business Insider]