Last week Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One will be DLNA compatible. Microsoft says that it is currently awaiting certification, so it’s unclear whether or not it will be a feature at launch. On Sony’s side, it was originally announced that the PS4 would not be DLNA compatible. Since then, Sony has said they are “exploring possibilities”. So it is certainly a possibility that DLNA will eventually be coming to the PS4.
First, let’s ask the question – Does it matter? Since this was announced, i’ve seen a lot of comments from people who say that they don’t understand what the big deal is. They apparently don’t listen to music, so it’s an absurd thought that anyone else would. But the fact is, a large part of the gaming population does indulge in music and other forms of media that is currently on the consoles. A recent poll by Joystiq shows that close to 48% of players had used their console to listen to music at one time or another. On VGN, a poll showed 41% of players listened to music on their consoles. So no matter how you slice it, a lot of people enjoy jamming to tunes while blowing away some pixels.
It’s clear that both Sony and Microsoft would rather have gamers use their music service; Microsoft’s Xbox Music, and Sony’s Music Unlimited. But how far are they going to go in order to do that? Neither Sony nor Microsoft currently offer ad-supported music streaming with their services. Why not? That seems like a great way to rope people in. I know personally, I leave Pandora playing in the background almost all day at work.
But my question is this – how flexible is snapping in Xbox One? Currently, the Xbox 360 has a ton of apps. Some of those apps, like iheartradio, offer free music that is ad-based. I’m curious to see if Xbox One will bring over these same apps on the Xbox One and allow you to use those in the background. If so, then this would obviously be a great alternative for Xbox players to not have to be sucked into another subscription. I’m also curious to see if they will have a media type player that allows you to play your own music by DLNA in the background while you are gaming. Considering you can snap the internet in the same window as your game, I don’t see why this would be a problem. But then again, it is Microsoft we are talking about here.
Fingers crossed, i’m hoping in the end that both PS4 & Xbox One give gamers an option when it comes to how they consume their media, without being forced to pick Microsoft or Sony as our music distributor. My cell phone doesn’t make me choose. My PC doesn’t make me choose. My tablet doesn’t make me choose. So why should my console make me choose? Especially considering the current gen consoles don’t even force you to choose.
And finally, for those of you saying it shouldn’t matter and that you don’t want a media console anyways. I would like to ask you – why settle for less? You can go buy a pre-paid phone off the shelf that plays music. So why would a $399 or $499 device NOT play your music. Especially considering that between 40-50% at LEAST of the gaming population says they’ve listened to music while gaming. We all like to relax in our own unique ways when we are gaming. I think it would be a little redonkulus to have a state-of-the-art gaming console in your living room that can’t even play your own music.
Unity 3D game engine free to Xbox One devs: Gamasutra
Xbox One DLNA Compatible: Mirror.UK
Sony may reverse DLNA policy on PS4: OCanada
Xbox One Music Subscription Service: Polygon
VGN: Video Games and News