We've got to love those skeptics at The Economist who pierce the fog surrounding the idea of the "digital home." According to that magazine, "technology firms are pushing a futuristic vision of home entertainment not because consumers are desperate for it but because they themselves are."
The push does feel contrived. Microsoft is most notable for pushing the idea of the digital home. The Economist quotes Craig Mundie (one of the three chief technology officers at Microsoft) as saying that the strategy is "critically important" to Microsoft's future growth. That's why it's being pushed at every level and via every product from Windows Vista to the Xbox 360.
Out of all of the possible markets, though, the video game realm is both more homogeneous (tends to be male, tends to be fall within a narrower range of ages) and more receptive to digital technologies. In other words, if the Xbox 360 fails, Microsoft has more than just a failed console to contend with. They'll have to retool their entire consumer strategy.
What do you think? Does the vision being sold to you via Xbox360.com jive with how you see your life evolving? Some consumer reactions to the Xbox marketing blitz already indicate a high degree of skepticism.
[Via Economist 3 September 2005 print edition]