The media in the living room

Microsoft and Sony have been trying for years to bring the experience of the PC to the living room, spending millions of dollars in state of the art consoles that were supposed to merge all of your media into a single station. To this day, that hasn't happened. Stubbornly, the Internet has stayed glued to the desktop.

Except in one spot - the mobile phone. Why is it that the phone, which at first seemed somewhat ill-suited to Internet browsing, has managed to become the next hub of development? It's because the phone changed its form to accommodate some of the new demands that were being placed on it. They made their screens bigger, added full-fledged keyboards and data connections. Hell, the iPhone even introduced a touch screen to simulate the mouse-click.

What have Microsoft and Sony done? They added Internet connections to their video game consoles and then developed proprietary systems that allow people to connect to each other solely in the context of the universe that they've tried to create. At least the Wii has an Opera browser. If any of these guys really want to harness the power of the Internet in the living room, here's what I would suggest:

1. Allow the millions of portable keyboards (i.e. Blackberries, iPhones, etc.) in the world to be used in conjunction with the system. If you don't have a keyboard, it's pretty darn hard to get around the web.
2. Open up the platform and let other developers create an ecosystem that takes advantage of the technology.

Until this happens, those consoles are just consoles. Not Trojan horses that can be used to take over the rest of the Internet. Because at this point, that seriously isn't going to happen.



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