Xbox 360 owners now more frequently use their consoles for viewing movies and TV shows and listening to music than they do for playing online games, Microsoft told the L.A. Times yesterday. All told, Xbox-equipped households are now devoting 84 hours monthly to all of those activities, with a smidgen over 50 percent of that time being spent taking in non-gaming media, said Xbox marketing and strategy boss, Yusuf Mehdi. The total usage figure represents a 30 percent jump from one year ago.

“What we’re seeing is that people are turning on the Xbox to play games and then keeping it on afterwards to get other types of entertainment,” Mehdi said. Entertainment features on the console falling under the broad “other” umbrella have increased drastically since the console’s November 2005 launch. Today alone Microsoft rolled out MLB.TV, Xfinity On Demand and HBO Go applications. As the Times noted, their inclusion brought the current tally of entertainment media services available on the platform up to 36.

There was a lot of talk by both Microsoft and Sony about their respective consoles becoming the entertainment media hubs of consumers’ living rooms when the dueling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 originally launched. The gaming community’s initial reaction was mixed to what sounded at the time to be a wildly ambitious goal. It seems, however, that the console makers’ vision has now become reality in Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft’s case. Gamers, as it turns out, love streaming as much media as they possibly can.

With the system now providing such an astounding number of hours of non-gaming media, is it still appropriate to primarily refer to it as a home “gaming” console? Or is it now more apt to simply refer to it as an entertainment console? Sound off in the comments about whether or not the proliferation of Xbox video and music services usage has changed your view of the platform.

Source: L.A. Times