The tech world was in a state of shock last year when Microsoft confirmed it had purchased VoIP telecommunications outfit Skype. The move for the software and technology wasn’t too surprising in itself, but the $8.5 billion price tag certainly was, especially given the company – which was once under the control of internet auction site eBay – wasn’t exactly making much money.
Still, the deal was finalized some six months ago, and the Redmond-based company – despite dedicating most of its efforts towards preparing the upcoming Windows 8 operating system – has been looking to incorporate its new purchase on as many devices and software as possible in a bid to begin reclaiming some of the eye-watering sum of capital.
So far, the fledgling Windows Phone ecosystem has seen the introduction of a Skype app, and although there’s been plenty of talk regarding a Skype chat app for Xbox 360 from the software maker, we’ve yet to see any of the talk materialize into cold, hard implementation.
Because there’s already text, voice and video chat on Xbox LIVE, gamers have little reason to yearn for a proper Skype chat app, but in spite of this, there’s still plenty to look forward to with Skype integration, and a Microsoft job posting suggests Steve Ballmer’s company is keen to get the ball rolling in the marriage of console and communication.
At this point in time, it is not clear as to whether the posting reflects an app for both the current Xbox 360 and a future unit, or just the latter, although Microsoft does state in the description that it remains steadfast in its quest to offer "amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox." It does seem to imply that it will be more than just a Skype app, but could also be ingrained from a hardware perspective, offering a more complete and rich Skype experience.
If it does turn out to be a next-gen-only implementation, users could be waiting a long time to see Skype for Xbox, although with E3 imminent, it is hoped Microsoft will shed a little more light on where it plans to go with the rather costly purchase.