After a hard day’s work, and a bit of watching the Inauguration Day festivities, I popped on my Xbox to find some of the presidential pomp and circumstance billed prominently for free viewing over Xbox Live.
The handful of video clips include the swearing in of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the performance by Aretha Franklin and the classical number featuring Yo-Yo-Ma and Itzhak Perlman. There’s also a video of “man on the street” Xbox Live gamers talking about what they’d like to see from Obama when he takes office.
Apparently, Microsoft’s PR wing announced this earlier in the day, but seeing it on my own was pretty cool. A rep tells me by e-mail that this is “less about political awareness and more about activating the LIVE community around events that are relevant and social,” and says a similar initiative is in the works for football fans.
Of course, scrolling down from the free content reveals a whole bunch of things you can buy, like network news specials and movies related to the presidency, but that’s okay. I’ve always hoped that Microsoft would use free content (besides demos) as a lure to the paid stuff, and this is a good place to start. I’m even tempted to use my handful of spare Microsoft points to rent “All the President’s Men” later.