Microsoft Beats Apple & Google To Home Entertainment Startup R2 Studios

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Microsoft has beaten Apple and Google to the acquisition of R2 Studios, a small home entertainment technology startup from the founder of Sling Media. R2 is famous for an Android app that allows users to control things like lighting and appliances throughout their homes, and its thought the company’s technology will help Microsoft push its Xbox console even further into home entertainment.

People familiar with the matter have today confirmed the deal to The Wall Street Journal, though the price of the acquisition could not be established.

R2 Studios was founded by Blake Krikorian, the entrepreneur behind Sling Media, the creator of Slingbox. Krikorian will be joining Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, along with a small team. In addition to the company, Microsoft also acquired some patents owned by R2 that are related to controlling electronic devices.

R2 has previously been in talks with both Apple and Google over an acquisition, according to the sources, but it seems Microsoft was first to pull out its check book.

The move follows Microsoft push to make its Xbox 360 a primary source of home entertainment — not just a games console — and it’s likely to boost that mission even further. And with the Xbox 720 expected to get its grand unveiling at E3 later this years, who knows what R2′s technology could bring to the next-generation console.