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Skype-via-Kinect reserved for Xbox 720: Smart TV Tuesday

Microsoft is holding back Skype video calling via Kinect for next year’s Xbox720.

Skype on Xbox LiveMicrosoft bought Skype for more than £5bn last year, and was widely expected to arrive on the Xbox 360 shortly after the Kinect HD video camera was launched.

Now Microsoft is advertising for a lead program manager to integrate Skype into the core of the next-gen Xbox console, which is expected to launch in 2013.

The job description (spotted by IP&TV News) reads: “Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin [sic] of Skype’s living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox.

“This is a crucial initiative for Xbox, and it is time-critical given the hardware lead times involved.”

Interestingly, development of Skype for Xbox is London-based, but the candidate will need to travel to ‘interface with relevant partners in Redmond, Palo Alto, Stockholm and Tallinn’, although we’d assume there will be a fair amount of Skype calling going on.

Microsoft has been busy repositioning the Xbox 360 as an entertainment set-top box over the past year, with the arrival of video services such as Sky Go, Blinkbox, Netflix and Lovefilm, social networking integrated with gaming, and music services like Last.FM.

Crucially, Microsoft also negotiated a way for the BBC iPlayer to appear on the Xbox, along with ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five.

All of which (except the iPlayer) will have not only boosted Xbox live subscriptions but reduced churn as the recession bites on monthly spending.

Meanwhile, it’s relentlessly pushing Kinect as a voice-control technology for entertainment (although voice control looks like this year’s 3D in the world of TV tech).

Skype, meanwhile, is convinced that video calling through TVs will be regular feature of life in 2020, as Theo Short, Skype UK’s strategic partner manager, told the recent IPTV World Forum 2012:


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