What just happened? Bang & Olufsen, perhaps best known in tech circles for its partnership with HP, has joined forces with Microsoft to create new audio gear under the Designed for Xbox hardware program.
Designed for Xbox is a licensing program that was introduced with the launch of the original Xbox in 2001. Partners are given access to Xbox guidelines, specifications and IP, and gain valuable internal connections as well as prominent placing on the Xbox storefront.
Christoffer Poulsen, vice president and head of product management at Bang & Olufsen, said that by entering the gaming industry, they want to do what they do best: "delivering outstanding sound performance wrapped in astonishing design and solid craftsmanship."
Poulsen added that they see big commercial potential in gaming and with Xbox, they believe they have found the ideal partner to realize that potential.
No specific Bang & Olufsen products were mentioned in the announcement although based on the language used by Matt Kesselring, head of hardware partnerships at Xbox, it's possible that any new products will be reserved exclusively for the upcoming Xbox Series X.
"We're excited for the launch of Xbox Series X later this year and ushering in the next generation of gaming. As we march towards release - we're excited to partner with Bang & Olufsen to bring a new premium tier of gaming audio to market for Xbox and Bang & Olufsen fans around the world that travels with you everywhere you love to play Xbox."
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed earlier this week that the Xbox Series X was still on track to launch later this year. That said, Covid-19 work-from-home orders could have an impact on first-party and third-party games, the executive noted.
Masthead credit: Emil O