It’s got to be tough being the odd man out. The PlayStation 3, the Wii, even the portables like the PSP and DS have fairly robust browsers built-in that allow you to surf the web as you wish, but Xbox 360 owners who dream of watching video via Hulu or YouTube on their 360 just had those dreams dashed.
Aaron Greenberg, director of product management for Xbox, put the kibosh on such extracurricular activities. Chalking the 360’s browser omission up to, “…the web browsing experience on TV is a poor one,” Greenberg clarified Microsoft’s Xbox online strategy just a little further. Despite recently adding support for specific properties like Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and perhaps most importantly, the Netflix streaming service, Xbox seemed to be moving towards opening up the web experience for their console gamers.
And yet, what these latest comments signal instead, is a move towards built-in support for specific web properties wherein the experience can be optimized and managed by Microsoft, versus opening the console’s masses up to the web at-large. This seems contrary to the consensus of PS3 users, who seem to feel that while browsing the web on a console is by no means perfect, they value the utility in having the capability to do so.
In his interview with CVG’s sister magazine ‘Edge’, Greenberg commented on the PS3’s browser specifically. “No disrespect, there’s things I love about the PS3, but that’s not one of them. We want the online experience to be fun and optimized for the living room, and we’ll continue to add more applications to get more richness.”