I know that a handful of companies have employee lounges with video games for their employees to enjoy in their spare time (some even have “wellness areas” where they can relax and even nap—I imagine StorageCraft’s would be called “The Recovery Environment”). A lounge with games sounds awesome, but it’s also tough for your average company to justify purchasing gaming hardware, and most would agree that no matter how many zombies you’ve shot, you’re never exactly “productive” while playing video games.
However, according to a blog post by Marques Lyons, Microsoft Xbox MVP and Director of Consumer Camp, “It’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense… there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms.”
Does that mean… Yes, your game station can also be a work station (Laura, if you’re reading this, I need one. So I can be more productive and stuff).
Lyons goes on to explain that because of apps like Skype and SkyDrive available on the Xbox One, there are actually a lot of practical business purposes. For one, it’s easy to have multi-person video conferences using Skype and the Xbox One’s built in 1080p Kinect. The wide-angle lens on the Kinect would capture the whole team during a digital meeting— like you’re all in the room together.
Plus, using Microsoft’s online file and folder app, Skydrive, and the Microsoft Office web apps along with a wireless mouse and keyboard, you can basically do anything you would do on your computer, but with your Xbox, and collaboratively in any conference room with a TV or projector.
Another interesting feature is Wi-Fi Direct, which for consumers can beam a live TV to a SmartGlass-enabled device, or for a small business owner could mean beaming a presentation or document of that nature directly from your tablet to your Xbox.
Of course, logic must step in (Laura, you can stop reading). Sorry to say it, but the Xbox One really can’t do much more than your computer can. It’s much easier to just plug your computer into the projector or a TV screen, but if you’re trying to write it off as a business expense, it sure could seem like one (always speak with a tax professional for these matters). In reality, the Xbox One doesn’t offer many advantages over a computer (Kinect conferencing does sound cool), and why would you send a gaming console to do a computer’s job anyway?
Honestly, though, haven’t we all been looking for a somewhat legitimate reason to bring an Xbox to work?
“Are you two wasting time playing Halo?”
“Noooo [switches windows], we’re just collaborating on this spreadsheet.”
The Xbox One is one thing, but the Surface is another. What’s the scoop on the MS Surface? Our own Laura Shafer has a look.