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Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Microsoft Rolls Out Updated Xbox LIVE

This morning, Microsoft launched a free update that "revolutionizes" digital entertainment, putting all your movies, TV shows, music, sports and other types of entertainment in one box.

The update also brings voice control to your Xbox experience, and with the simplicity of Kinect and the intelligence of Bing voice search. The update also includes a complete dashboard redesign, a bevy of new content from Microsoft's partners around the world, and a variety of new social features and parental controls.

The Xbox LIVE update also features cloud-powered saves so users can roam across consoles and take their content with them, new family content controls for parents, and "beacons" that alert users when a friend would like to play a game.

The Xbox "dashboard" has been completely redesigned (in the Metro style made popular by Windows Phone), said Emma Williams, general manager of Xbox Experiences for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business.

Xbox LIVE is also giving its entertainment offerings a major enhancement by expanding current partnerships as well as building new partnerships with more than 40 TV, movie, sports and entertainment providers worldwide.

What that means is many TV subscribers will enjoy being able to watch their favorite channels live on Xbox, including customers of Verizon?s FiOS digital television service in the United States.

Verizon will offer a selection of live television channels to its customers via Xbox LIVE, including MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, Cartoon Network and Cinemax.

AT&T U-verse TV is a TV provider that is already delivering live TV, Total Home DVR recordings, interactive apps and more to the Xbox. As the first TV provider in the U.S. to launch live TV on Xbox 360, AT&T also plans to use Kinect to transform how its customers can interact with its TV service.

Pete Distad, vice president of marketing and distribution at Hulu, said Hulu Plus has updated its interface to "synchronize and optimize" with the new Xbox dashboard.

EPIX, soon to be available on Xbox LIVE, has more than 3,000 movies, concerts, comedy shows, boxing and mixed-martial arts offerings available on-demand to its subscribers.

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