Microsoft Adds R2 Studios To Xbox Division

By Khurram Aziz email: | Jan 07, 2013 01:26 PM EST

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Microsoft has added id8 Group R2 Studios, along with its founder Blake Krikorian, to its Xbox division - a move which promises to increase the console's expansion into our living rooms.

R2 Studios specializes in technology related to distributing and displaying digital media on TVs and recently launched an Android app to allow users to control home heating and lighting systems from their smartphones.

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Before starting R2 Studios in May 2011, Krikorian was best-known for creating Sling Media and the Slingbox - a device which rebroadcasts signals from a TV in your living room to a laptop or smartphone.

Satellite provider EchoStar bought Sling Media in 2007 for $380 million and since then Krikorian has sat on Amazon's board of directors. However, he resigned in December saying it was due to the sale of his start-up and that he was taking a role with the company that bought it.

That company was Microsoft, according to the Wall Street Journal, which has bought R2 Studios for an undisclosed sum.

Apparently, Google and Apple were also in talks to buy the start-up, but were beaten by the Redmond software giant.

Microsoft's purchase comes as it seeks to move its Xbox from a primarily video game console to a hub connecting traditional TV with Web video. The console already has deals with companies such as Netflix, Time Warner, HBO and YouTube, to bring on-demand video to subscribers of Xbox Live.

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