Could An Xbox-Branded Tablet Do Well In The Market?

Previously, I’ve talked a little about some strategies Microsoft could take to really make a splash when it launches into the tablet market. Apple remains in control of the tablet market right now for a few key reasons:

  • They keep tight control over their product and its operating system.
  • Apple fans are fiercely loyal.
  • They provide a product that sets itself apart from other tablets.
This seems like a fairly simple strategy to emulate but it isn’t always this easy. Now, Amazon has come along with its own tablet that features integrated services from its pre-existing Amazon app market and e-book system. Keep in mind the network for success (its Kindle e-books, music, and other media consumption elements) already existed before the Kindle Fire launched. Many of these features could have been had on almost any Android tablet. So why is it that Amazon’s product is flying off the shelves? Its about perception, ease of use with its Amazon integration, and again the power of branding. Kindle is known as a great e-reader, so building on top of this and adding Android power beside additional Amazon features like movie streaming is a recipe for success. With several strong partners like Nokia, Dell, and HP by its side, it seems that Microsoft is really pushing forward with its tablet endeavor. Additonally they have strong support from ARM makers like Qualcomm as well. Outside of this they also have Zune streaming/video/content services that are much less popular than other competing products but still… the elements for success are there. One idea I’ve mentioned in the past is to create a flagship device, similar to how Google’s program works. This flagship device would best demonstrate the capabilities of a Windows tablet and push the market forward. While I’ve talked about having a company like Nokia build the tablet itself in the past, what about the idea of Microsoft building and branding their own? They certainly have the ability to craft consumer electronics (as seen with Zune and Xbox), so it doesn’t seem like that far of a stretch. Lets take this a bit further, what about an Xbox branded tablet? This tablet would have Zune services, Netflix streaming, Windows 8, Xbox Live integration, built-in Kinect-tablet sensors (like we’ve heard rumors about), and even the possibility to download original Xbox games through the marketplace. This might be too difficult but a good dual-core ARM could very possibly play these games in emulation without that much trouble. In the past the idea of an Xbox handheld has extensively been talked about and turned down. Such a handheld will never exist, but a tablet that uses the brand and focuses itself as a social integration tool based on Xbox features? I personally think there could be some merit here. Additionally, imagine a future upgrade that allows the tablet and Xbox 360 (or its next system) to interface and play games in a style similar to the upcoming Nintendo Wii U. Will such a product actually surface? Probably not, but I still think such a device could really set it apart from other tablets. The gaming market is continually on the rise, and the Xbox has proven to be a highly successful venture for Microsoft. While this will likely remain nothing more than a dream, it certainly would be pretty cool. What do you think about the idea of an Xbox-branded tablet? Could such a product ever actually exist or do you think it would probably bomb in the marketplace? Let us know what you think, below!]]>

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