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Xbox Will Never Be A DVR

A week or so ago, we caught our first glimpse of the Xbox One which will be launching later this year. This was the first speech in a three part rollout and it focused mostly on the TV and entertainment options in the box. (Part 2 is E3 for games and then part 3 is Build where they’ll talk about developer stuff.) With all the talk about TV, the internet was once again buzzing about the possibility that the Xbox will be a DVR or that it will allow you to connect tuners to it.

I have no inside information, but there’s no way this is ever going to happen. First of all, those of us who are willing to connect to cable TV with anything but the box from the cable company is extremely small. On top of that, DVRs are a stopgap measure for a dying medium. Do you really think that in 10 years we’re really going to have to cache content locally? It’s ridiculously inefficient for cable companies to simultaneously pump 100s of channels to millions of individual consumers who then put that content back on hard drives to watch it later. Sooner or later (and we’re already making big strides in this direction) we’ll just pick the content we want to watch and it will appear on our TV. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are showing us what that might look like and the cable companies will either jump on board or they’ll die a slow death.

So with that future ahead of us, why would Microsoft, a company that also sells TV and movies digitally, want to invest any time in a solution that’s not going to be needed before the Xbox One hits the end of it’s lifecycle?