Cut The Cord and Play: Microsoft Rolls Out XBox Updates

Meet the tech world's Swiss Army Knife

A new "Halo."  A "Gears of War" update.  Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell Blacklist."

Oh, and the cable company?  You don't really need it anymore.

Meet the tech world's Swiss Army Knife.  OK, maybe re-meet is more accurate.  Microsoft's XBox and XBox 360 gaming consoles are already massively popular, and at Monday morning's E3 news conference in Los Angeles, the public is getting a look into what Microsoft had in mind when it first planted the XBox into our living rooms.

Yes, there's still a lot of gaming to be done.  49er legend Joe Montana is at E3, rolling out a new Madden (13?  Wow, I'm feeling old - but good for that franchise. It never fails to impress).  There's also a lot of gaming to watch.  NBA, NHL, and ESPN, all offering up new content, so that when you're done playing your own games, you can kick back and watch the pros.  Oh, and fitness apps through Nike.  This has worked on the iOS platform, now coming to the XBox for you home trainers.

XBox is also boosting its TV service.  It's not just for streaming Netflix anymore.  Now, Paramount, Nickelodeon, and Univision are among the networks offering up programming for your XBox.  With choices like this, along with your Roku, Apple TV, etc, etc, the Cable companies (including the one I work for) have their work cut out for them.

On top of all this, Microsoft is still chasing the music market.  They've struck out a few times here before (Zune, anyone?), but are trying again with XBox music, a service that will let you listen to music online.

The XBox has been a true success for the software giant.  It's one of the rare places Microsoft has been even semi-willing to look outside its own walls (all the developers messing with the ultra-successful Kinect, for example), and all these add-ons point to a future where one console can power a ton of stuff.

We look forward to testing it out.

Scott can be found on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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