During the Xbox One reveal this week, Microsoft spent a lot of time on the console controlling the television and cable box. A significant amount of gamers fired back with "we don't care about controlling the TV, just show us the games!"
Once you try, you may not go back. I don't have an Xbox One, but Nintendo's Wii U is a good step in the direction of TV integration that I hope all future consoles take.
It's the simple things that I love about controlling the TV with my console, like changing the volume of a game when someone calls or is speaking to you. I love coming home and turning on your entertainment system easily. Having my favorite channels available at a push of button, without even needing to turn the console on, is a huge upgrade from the terrible interfaces that most cable companies provide.
The Wii U accomplishes the above tasks via button presses and the same infrared sensor that remotes use, meaning that you need line of sight to your cable box and TV. If the voice control of the Xbox One works as advertised, it will be much easier to completely control your entertainment system without messing around with the ugly cable company interfaces. In addition, it will let you control your DVR and (possibly) On Demand cable functionality, something that the Wii U cant' do.
Games will always come first, but don't discount the other media parts of the new generation of gaming consoles. Wii U took the first step, and Xbox One can really up the ante. Maybe even the cable companies will get on board and start to deign systems that aren't clunky.
Nah, that'll never happen.
This post also appears on TWIB.