The Wall Street Journal reported late today that Microsoft has just acquired app-maker Id8 Group R2 Studios, Inc. The company is headed by Sling Media founder Blake Krikorian, who will be joining Microsoft as part of the deal. The XBOX division of Microsoft will reap the benefits of this purchase.
R2 Studios is currently known for R2 Control for Creston, an application that turns an Android device into a Crestron touch-pad controller. Crestron is a leader in home-automation control. Microsoft has been clear for some time about their aim of becoming the center of the digital home. With the changes to the XBOX UI this past autumn, and the continuous addition of content providers for the XBOX, it seems clear that Microsoft intends for that control to be exerted by the game platform, as opposed to the PC, as was generally assumed over time. There is considerable public interest in the next generation of XBOX, since the current system is now almost eight years old. There is also speculation concerning the capabilities of the next-gen system, over and above simple gaming. This latest move on Microsoft’s part seems to justify that speculation.