Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yes, you can use a hammer as a toothpick - and it can work very well

A few weeks ago, I wrote a rash of posts on the Company X gets customers they don't want. The general theme was that the company would advertise a product that does Y, but customers then use it for Z. For example, take the way in which approximately 40% of Slingbox users utilize the gadget - something that's never mentioned in Slingbox ads.

This one isn't exactly like that, but it's close. This is from a WinExtra post from May: appears that not all of those 53 million sold consoles or 30 million Xbox Live members are using their Xbox to play games.

Specifically, about forty percent of Xbox users don't use it as a game console.

Now this isn't exactly like the Slingbox case, because Microsoft is actively promoting the use of the Xbox for other forms of entertainment. However, would someone buy an Xbox and NOT use it for games? Apparently so.

I recently had a chance to play around with the Internet features of a Nintendo Wii. Personally I didn't care for the interface, and would much prefer to use my netbook to access the Internet. Yet for some people, the Wii's way of providing Internet access is more than adequate - and you don't have to worry about installing monthly upgrades or using a File menu or anything like that.

The ability to view movies is simpler. I've never used an Xbox (and admittedly I rarely use any device to view long-form movies), but it's easy to see how an Xbox would make a more than adequate movie player.

As these multi-function devices emerge, they can provide cost savings for particular users. Why buy an Xbox and a DVD player if the Xbox performs both functions to your satisfaction? Or, why buy a computer and a Wii if the Wii meets all of your computing needs?
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