J Allard: Zune and 360 will one day be unified

Microsoft and Xbox supreme J Allard has said that both its Xbox 360 games console and portable MP3 player Zune are ultimately designed to connect to the same network, sparking talk that the music machine could yet play host to gaming.

Speaking to The New York Times, Allard stated: "The Zune guys have to run really fast. The Windows Mobile guys are on a two-year release cycle. The Xbox team now needs to focus on cost reduction, distribution and quality process. Everyone is on their own cadence. The one thing that transcends all this is the network as the nexus.

"Today we have Xbox live for $50 a year. We have Zune Pass at $15 a month. We don’t have a rationalised premium version yet. Fast forward a little bit, and you can image a menu like DirecTV. There is basic, there is enhanced, there is movie pack and NFL Sunday ticket.

"What I want to do at the Entertainment and Devices division is build an entertainment service that can connect, that has a screen and buttons and a speaker, so you can watch what you want, where you want, how you want.

"And you don’t have to worry about multiple formats; we do it all for you on the back end. And you can reach all these eyeballs without lifting a finger."

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