If you look way back in the depths of the internet to May 10, 2011, when news hit the internet that Microsoft had purchased Skype, the big words you see are things like “overvalued” and “why?” Since the purchase, little things have trickled out here and there, but things are starting to coalesce.
CVG was told by a source “familiar with the matter” that Microsoft will be making Skype the default communication platform on the next Xbox, in addition to PC and tablets, both of which they’ve been working toward for some time. The source told CVG, “You might jump to the conclusion that we’ll see asychronous voice and video messages in next-gen Xbox Live.”
As far back as August 2012, Microsoft was starting to look for people to work on a project specifically referred to as being Skype for Xbox. Even now Microsoft’s careers site has current job listings for things like a program manager for Skype for Xbox and Software Development Engineer for Skype for Xbox. Then in November, Microsoft confirmed that Skype would eventually replace their long-lived Messenger service. Just yesterday, Microsoft informed their users that Skype will be replacing Messenger.
Based on the job postings alone, it’s clear Skype will play some role in the next Xbox, but whether the Xbox will make full use of Skype’s codecs or if it’ll be a standalone app is still unclear. Microsoft has been moving, since the release of Windows 8, to bring their separate devices closer together, so Skype chat between a Windows 8 tablet, Windows Phone 8, and the new Xbox certainly isn’t out of the question. I just hope they’ll leave out that awful default Skype ringtone.