Microsoft has been pushing for its Xbox 360 game console to be more than a device that plays games. The recent launch of a bunch of streaming video and audio apps for the Xbox 360 shows that Microsoft would like to see the Xbox 360, and future versions of the console, be more of a fully featured entertainment center.
Now Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has been awarded a patent that gives the company the technology rights to add new features to game consoles. Specifically, Patent 8,083,593 will give Microsoft a way to turn a game console into a digital recorder. The patent was first filed in 2007 and was finally awarded to Microsoft in December 2011.
Adding a DVR-like feature to a game console would allow such a device to record and play back live TV shows along with movies and music, according to the patent. The DVR could record its media while a user was playing a game. The DVR feature could even record programs while the game feature was turned off.
Adding DVR features is a natural extension of Microsoft's ideas for the Xbox console business. It's possible that Microsoft could add such features in a future major Xbox 360 software update or it could wait until it could add the feature to Microsoft's next generation game console, which is not expected to launch until 2013 at the earliest.