Microsoft Patent Suggests So
Rumours continue to mount of a 2012 announcement from both Microsoft and Sony regarding next-gen successors to their current line of home consoles. I'm still a little skeptical they'll launch so early - especially Sony, who've yet to fully profit from the PS3's success - but there's no doubt we'll at least get an idea of what both have in store for the future very soon. And if a patent filed by Microsoft on December 27th last year is anything to go by, we might be able to record television whilst gaming.
Patent # 8,083,593, granted to Microsoft by the US Patent & Trademark Office shortly after Christmas last year, describes a "digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console". Furthermore, the patent details the device as an "integrated gaming and media experience", as the DVR can record content whilst the user continues to play games.
The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu. Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games.
The patent also reveals content can be recorded whilst the console is turned off, presumably through the use of a log and save function similar to what Virgin and Sky subscribers enjoy. Microsoft appear to be very focused on ensuring the DVR device doesn't restrict users from the console's other functions, as the patent confirms you can switch between games and other features whilst recording.
A similar sort of set-top box has been rumored to be in the works at Microsoft for years now, all the way back to 2007 when Bill Gates still headed up the company. It appears as if Microsoft is looking to integrate that dormant project with continuing work on the Next Xbox, which is sure to delight fans who've been irked by the 360's somewhat limited multimedia capabilities. [Kotaku]