Microsoft has reportedly purchased Silicon Valley home entertainment technology startup R2 Studios and will likely use the new acquisition to bolster the Xbox 360 console, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The company had been in talks with Apple and Google before closing the deal with Redmond.
R2 Studios was founded by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian in 2011. The name might not sound familiar but he is the man responsible for creating Sling Media, makers of the placeshifting / media extending device known as the Slingbox.
The founder was essentially working in similar territory with R2 Studios by specializing in entertainment and automation technology. Conveniently enough, he left his position on Amazon’s board earlier this week due to the acquisition but didn’t say who purchased the company.
As Daily Tech points out, they had been working on a way to distribute and display digital media on televisions and recently released a smartphone app to control a home’s thermostat and security system when connected to Crestron controllers. As you can imagine, the former would be of great interest for Microsoft with regards to the Xbox and could be a big boon for Xbox Smartglass apps.
It’s unclear how much Microsoft paid to acquire R2 Studios but we do know that they also gained access to multiple patents related to controlling electronic devices. Microsoft declined to comment on the story but it only helps to bring the Xbox one step closer to being the center of your living room rather than the simple gaming console it was designed to be.