Microsoft trumps Apple and Google, buys R2 Studios

Microsoft has acquired R2 Studios, a small startup that it will use to bolster the Xbox, sources have told the Wall Street Journal. In doing so, Microsoft also scored some patents that are said to concern "controlling electronic devices." Thus far, neither company have made any official statements about the acquisition, and the price paid has not been revealed.

It is said that both Google and Apple were in talks with R2 Studios about a possible acquisition, but that Microsoft ultimately trumped them and snatched up the startup. R2 Studios was founded by Blake Krikorian, and deals with displaying and distributing content on televisions. Krikorian will be working with Microsoft along with a small team from R2.

We reported on December 21 about the possible acquisition that was in talks. Although it hasn't offered a statement, the running theory is that Microsoft will use the acquisition in its push to align the Xbox as more than a mere gaming console, but instead as a set-top type of device that brings Smart TV functionality to gamers' living rooms.

So far, R2 Studios has only produced an Android app, which turns mobile devices into a universal remote for Crestron home automation. Says its description in Google Play, "R2 enables residential and commercial customers to control AV, lighting, thermostats, security systems, and thousands of other products via their Android device from anywhere in the world."

[via WSJ]