Ben Smith, director of program management for Xbox Live, has befuddled us by stating that the Xbox's "Netflix lite" approach is to give a more "video rental store" experience to customers. Speaking with MTV's Multiplayer
, the executive also said, "I think when people come to Xbox they're not really looking so much for functional, they really want to have fun, they want to be wowed."
Please, stop. And consider us "wowed" by that quote! Netflix
has built an empire by avoiding almost every horrible aspect of the "video rental store" experience. As visually pleasing as a wall of pretty boxes is at the local rental mega-chain, Netflix's ever-growing dominance in the space gives credence to the notion that people don't mind (maybe, even enjoy) the ability to search through thousands of movies quickly and efficiently. If Microsoft wants us to have "fun" and "be wowed," it'd be by giving us the ability to search for a movie on our Xbox 360 and (if available for streaming) play it directly from there. The Xbox 360 has built its marketing and brand around the "core" gamer audience, the folks who likely aren't scared or confused by something as basic as a "search" function.