Skype could replace Xbox Live voice chat on the Xbox 720, according to a person ‘familiar with the matter’.
Speaking ahead of the expected autumn Xbox 720 release date, the unnamed source revealed that Microsoft will be “consolidating all their communications technology” around the Skype platform, meaning the communication tool could be the default chat service across a range of Microsoft devices including its laptops and Surface tablets.
As of yet, it is uncertain how the Skype integration will work, perhaps having gamers link their Skype accounts to their Xbox gamertags, just as Microsoft 8 ties Skype with a Microsoft account.
After the announced closure of its instant messaging service, MSN, and its replacement with Skype’s messaging tool, it seems that Microsoft is phasing out its various other communication platforms for a more streamlined service.
Microsoft’s procurement of Skype for a cool $8.5 million back in 2011 was the biggest purchase in the company's forty year history, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Microsoft is making the most of its newest acquisition.
“You might jump to the conclusion that we’ll see asynchronous voice and video messages in next-gen Xbox Live”, added the source, providing more excitement to the rumours surrounding the features of the Xbox 720.
Microsoft also recently posted a job advertisement for a user interface designer for the ‘next-gen Xbox’, but the position was located at Microsoft’s UK-based Skype offices.
The job description read: “The team you’ll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox”.
It seems that Skype will be a large feature of the next-gen Xbox, both on the home screen and for online multiplayer gaming.