Microsoft could add Xbox Live Achievements for watching TV shows

Microsoft introduced Xbox Live Achievements into gaming with the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005. The simple but addictive system of collecting points in games and then adding them to a player's total Gamerscore was a pretty brilliant idea for its time. Now Microsoft might be trying add a similar achievement system just for watching TV programs.

Gamesindustry International reports that Microsoft filed for a patent application that described a TV achievement system. Microsoft stated that watching television is mostly a passive experience at the moment but added, "To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content."

Examples of achievement challenges include watching all of the episodes of a TV series in a single season, or perhaps watch one single special event such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars. Microsoft says that achievements could also be tied into TV ads and thus increase viewership of both television in general along with "increasing advertising opportunities."

The patent also described how a version of the Kinect hardware could be used with these new TV achievements, such as holding a specific product in front of the Kinect camera while watching a show. The camera could then scan the product and then give the person an achievement for that action. In addition to increasing a user's Gamerscore, the patent says people can also gain virtual or real rewards when unlocking these new TV achievements.

While Microsoft talked a lot about the Xbox One's TV features when it introduced the upcoming game console earlier this week, it didn't say anything about adding in achievements while watching TV shows through the console. It's possible that kind of support is something that Microsoft is working on for the Xbox One but has yet to reveal to the public.

Source: Gamesindustry International | Image via Microsoft

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And I thought the existing ads on the Xbox home screen were tacky enough. This is just in poor taste altogether. It certainly cheapens the achievements system, too.

shakey said,
Achievement Unlocked : Loser Trash on Ass

Seriously, MS, wtf?

Come up with something better instead of finding all sorts of nonsensical reasons to complain. The company files for a patent is something wrong with that? Anyways, I'd like to hear your oh so awesome idea of something better.

Achievement Unlocked: Couch Potato

Awarded for watching 24 straight hours of the home shopping network without taking a bathroom break.

dbam987 said,
Achievement Unlocked: Couch Potato

Awarded for watching 24 straight hours of the home shopping network without taking a bathroom break.

U'd have to be an elite to be able to that. I think that's could be a serious achievement. No joke.

This is not what the patent system was designed for. It was designed to protect innovation, not act as a first-come-first-serve lawsuit system for common-sense ideas.

theyarecomingforyou said,
This is not what the patent system was designed for. It was designed to protect innovation, not act as a first-come-first-serve lawsuit system for common-sense ideas.

Yep. But at the same time, they're forced to protect it because some patent troll would patent an idea like this, that they had no means to put in place as they didn't have Kinect or a similar technology, just in hopes of being able to extort from a company that actually could and did do something like this... This is why the patent system is what it is...

Achievement for not flipping through a commercial
Achievement unlocked searching on Bing using Internet explorer!
Achievement for using your windows phone as a remote
Achievement for using the surface rt/pro as a remote

I can see them tying these Achievements into their products as well as television.

My brother is obsessed with Viggle and gets tons of free movie tickets and stuff for tuning into TV shows, this would be brilliant if they integrated something like Viggle or GetGlue into Xbox Live. If TV networks want to give me free stuff for tuning into their shows then I'll take it.

I really have to say this.
Nothing from what i've seen and heard until now, for the new xbox, excites me!
Not the slightest interest whatsoever, to make me shed any money.
I thought, the PS4 'reveal' was bad, but this, oooooh man!

tomasse said,
I really have to say this.
Nothing from what i've seen and heard until now, for the new xbox, excites me!
Not the slightest interest whatsoever, to make me shed any money.
I thought, the PS4 'reveal' was bad, but this, oooooh man!

Agreed. Like I have said before, it would be unfair to say that the PS4 reveal was better (because it was so laughably bad), but the XBox reveal was far too close given Sony didn't even show the console...

I thought the PS4 reveal was far better. The plastic case the console insides are sitting in are (or should be) the least interesting thing about it.

Kinect will be used as Nielsen-like device along with the TV viewing so the XBOX can better track what people are watching, how intense they are watching and how emotionally engaged they are. This sill support TV, Movies and advertisements. Nielsen-ratings do not track well across all forms of media and Microsoft is looking to dominate this area (and access millions of more data-sets than Nielsen can) while elevating engagement based on biometric feedback.

Zagadka said,
Yea, because cable and satellite companies aren't already tracking watching habits through their set top boxes. /s

But a top box cannot check if I walk to the kitchen during the commercial, Kinect could.

Man all these people in here bitching about doing nothing but watching a TV show. Like playing video games is a ****ing Olympic sport. Most games you get 5 achievements for playing through the tutorial.

"No more privacy, no more quiet, no more alone. Every room you ever go in, I'll already be there, waiting, forever and ever, until the end of time. " creepy quote from adventure time.

If they somehow could force SmartGlass to be part of this, then it would be worth it. Otherwise, like already mentioned, it is very offending they'd consider it to be part of the achievements.

Can it check your heart rate and order pizza for you?

Sigh, seriously, people are already coming up with several conspiracy theories about the Kinect monitoring you at all times... so MS comes up with the idea to literally do that?

Zagadka said,
Can it check your heart rate and order pizza for you?

Sigh, seriously, people are already coming up with several conspiracy theories about the Kinect monitoring you at all times... so MS comes up with the idea to literally do that?


Forget ordering pizza, can it order an ambulance when it sees that my heart has stopped from living on chips and not getting of the sofa for months trying to get that "watched every channel achievement"?

Personally I think it's kinda silly. I don't see how watchin TV is achieving something.
But if MS adds it, so be it. Ain't gonna disappoint me at all.

LUTZIFER said,
Personally I think it's kinda silly. I don't see how watchin TV is achieving something.
But if MS adds it, so be it. Ain't gonna disappoint me at all.

You know, you're right. I'm waiting for them to call "April Fools" or something... I just cannot imagine a team working on a console to come up with this many bad ideas without trying...

M_Lyons10 said,

You know, you're right. I'm waiting for them to call "April Fools" or something... I just cannot imagine a team working on a console to come up with this many bad ideas without trying...

Its interesting you've said that because I haven't seen you come up with a better one.

M_Lyons10 said,

Absolutely. The minute I'm expected to watch something on OWN, I'm done...

Don't worry, they have you covered.

Achievement Unlocked: Not watching a show on OWN!

dead.cell said,

Don't worry, they have you covered.

Achievement Unlocked: Not watching a show on OWN!


ROFL, the easiest achievement on XBox One...

Does the Kinect then sense when you're eating junk food, and you earn a junk food achievement? Chicken Wing Achievement earned! Then when your watching the History channel, you earn History buff achievement, and when you're watching QVC, you earn the shopaholic achivement. This will be a watershed moment for America if Microsoft institutes an achievement system for watching tv

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Does the Kinect then sense when you're eating junk food, and you earn a junk food achievement? Chicken Wing Achievement earned! Then when your watching the History channel, you earn History buff achievement, and when you're watching QVC, you earn the shopaholic achivement. This will be a watershed moment for America if Microsoft institutes an achievement system for watching tv

+1 How about the "You did no physical activity this week and gained 10 pounds achievement"? HORRIBLE idea. I sincerely hope this is one of those patents that is never used. But based on what they actually did confirm about the XBox One, that may be wishful thinking...

you watch too many right leaned shows?
you earn RightWing Fanbase Achievement.

you watch too many pro-islamic shows?
you earn Sharia Laws Supporter Achievement.

you previously watch too many of your current president rival shows?
you earn President Haters Achievement.

I think this is cool. Everyone has a favorite TV show and instead of merely "liking" the show on social media, you can prove you're a fan by having achievements based on having watched it. I like the idea!

and achievement for successfuly watch particular show with too many people in a room ?
kinect watching you too.

1984 Orwel's telescreen, welcome to 201x.

Enron said,
If you're forever alone, you don't have to worry about too many people being in a room.

All you'd have to worry about is the anime love pillows (search dakimakura).

Playing SWTOR your character gets "Rest XP" basically for doing nothing. Seems a fan at Microsoft wants to apply this in real life.

"Achievement Unlocked: Breathing"

Now that's just f-ing pitiful. Achievements is one of the best things about Xbox, and Trophies and whatever steam has just doesn't compare. Now they're going to render it meaningless in an effort to push TV watching and for ad Revenue? Really? I guess MS believes we're in the Post-gaming era too.

They'll get away with it too if Sony gets on board. But if Sony stays true to gaming, I predict Sony will win the next generation of consoles. Microsoft may win the next set top box wars though.

There are too many average joes who don't think before they buy and driving us all... MS is betting on them and this is how they get away with such BS.

The good thing is, Europe always prefer PS4 and now there are to many additional reasons to go with. US mass has more washed out minds.

Max Norris said,
An achievement for sitting on my butt doing less than nothing? Now there's something I can brag to my friends about.

To be honest, some TV shows are an achievement if you've managed to sit and watch more then 5 minutes worth, let alone the full show.

But it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wonder how long it'd be before the achievement junkies start buying mannequins to get achievements while at work/school..

Max Norris said,
An achievement for sitting on my butt doing less than nothing? Now there's something I can brag to my friends about.

Its not like u'd be doing anymore work than when sitting on ur butt playing a game.
But who knows how they will implement it. I mean what if you have to do certain actions a answer trivia questions about previous episodes or about characters.

I could see them doing this achievement thing when I heard about the Halo TV series. I think this patent is more like a "cover all basis" type.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
Its not like u'd be doing anymore work than when sitting on ur butt playing a game.

Sure, but at least when you're gaming you're doing *something*, even if it's just twiddling your thumbs on a gamepad. As stupid as it sounds, getting an achievement for surviving a shooter just sounds a tad more interesting than surviving a rerun of a random TV show. Personally I've never been interested in achievements anyway.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
But who knows how they will implement it. I mean what if you have to do certain actions a answer trivia questions about previous episodes or about characters.

Interactive TV? Hrmm having a program off to the side running while a show is playing... now that could be a bit more interesting.

In many respects, who cares?? Until Microsoft fixes the big mess with Windows-8; who really cares what else happens? In other words, don't try building a Taj Mahal, when one can hardly build a log cabin?

TsarNikky said,
In many respects, who cares?? Until Microsoft fixes the big mess with Windows-8; who really cares what else happens? In other words, don't try building a Taj Mahal, when one can hardly build a log cabin?

what does Windows 8 have to do with Xbox One? both are done by different teams of people

TsarNikky said,
In many respects, who cares?? Until Microsoft fixes the big mess with Windows-8; who really cares what else happens? In other words, don't try building a Taj Mahal, when one can hardly build a log cabin?

What are you, dumb? This article has nothing to do with Windows 8. And the Xbox One team is a completely different team than the Windows 8 team.

TsarNikky said,
Aren't both "teams" working for the same leader (company)?

Yes, but just because Tom Brady plays for the patriots doesn't mean he plays on the defensive line. Football analogy, bitches!

I am going to campaign really hard for them to do this if they combine it with a rewards program.

My brother is obsessed with Viggle and gets tons of free movie tickets and stuff for tuning into TV shows, this would be brilliant if they integrated something like Viggle or GetGlue into Xbox Live. If TV networks want to give me free stuff for tuning into their shows then I'll take it.

TsarNikky said,
Aren't both "teams" working for the same leader (company)?

That logic would make the home audio team at Sony responsible for the PS4. Statement fail.