Microsoft is set to replace Xbox Chat with a new Skype-powered offering, at least in the new Xbox, according to reports.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype has left anyone and everyone scrambling to try and work out where the Redmond company is planning on making use of the VoIP service that it splashed so much cash on. There are already ties into Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, but what about upcoming Microsoft hardware and software? How could they take advantage of Skype?
The next big release from Microsoft is expected to be an all-new game console, one which will replace the Xbox 360. With the current hardware now beginning to show its age, despite various refreshes and redesigns over the years, Microsoft will no doubt already have its replacement in the works. With Skype though, could we see the Xbox chat we use today be replaced by something a little more… useful?
A new report by CVG, citing the always reliable ‘person familiar with the matter,’ claims that the next Xbox, whenever that may arrive, will do away with the current implementation of Xbox Chat in favor of a more Skype-like solution. When we say Skype-like, we really mean Skype, by the way.
Of course, nobody really knows when the next Xbox is likely to put in an appearance, let alone what Microsoft plans to use as its chat platform. The addition of Skype would make sense on a number of fronts though, with all Xbox LIVE users effectively forced to take a Skype account, bolstering the number of users of that service, whether they actually use it or not. We would argue that Skype on Xbox would actually be more than a good idea, too, especially when paired with something like the Xbox Kinect hardware. Still, we’re only speculating here.
Skype allows users to chat via voice and video across a wide range of devices and platforms already. The addition of the Xbox 360 and its huge Xbox LIVE subscription base can only be a good thing for the company. Assuming it can handle the load, of course!