Skype plans in-game integration for Microsoft’s next Xbox

It’s a no-brainer that Microsoft’s next Xbox console, whenever it’s released and whatever it’s called, will offer some form of Skype functionality for making video calls in the living room. It’s a killer combo, especially when combined with the Kinect sensor, as we’ve been pointing out since the rumors first surfaced about Microsoft’s $8.5 billion Skype acquisition.

But a newly surfaced job posting signals that the Skype integration will go significantly further than that.

It reads, in part, “Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox. Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin 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.”

Microsoft hasn’t given an official release date for the next-generation Xbox, but documents uncovered this past week by the L.A. Times in an unrelated lawsuit over Activision’s Call of Duty franchise suggest that it could be as early as the fall of 2013, based on the timing of a new (non-Halo) game from Bungie.

Skype offers a video-calling app for Sony’s PlayStation Vita but not for Sony’s PlayStation 3 console or Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

Job posting via This is Xbox and Slashgear.

  • Guest

    Between this kind of new functionality and replacing the supernode infrastructure, I’m having a hard time believing Skye will make MS’s stated goal of being profitable after the first full year of operation.

    • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

      Probably not, but this is one of those loss-leader critical strategic pushes.

      XBox is one of the areas that Microsoft is strong in (even if it’s not necessarily a money maker). 
      Apple can’t get Apple TV to go, Google isn’t really present in the living room, and Amazon has living room services, but they’re dependent on third parties to get it on screens.Expanding the XBox like this is smart. The key will be executing on it well, but at least this is an area where they’ve got strength.

      • Guest

        Uh huh. Like Xbox has been over its now thirteen year history, not to mention Auto, MSN, Search, Mediaroom and its former incarnations? There’s a limit to how many “strategic” loss-leaders MS can afford to have, particularly now that it has lost the smartphone and tablet wars and those are disrupting PCs.

        And when you justify a very expensive acquisition, at least in part by claiming you’ll be profitable after the first full year of operation, it’s kind of important to make good on that promise. At least if you want to have any credibility, that is.