Monday, December 05, 2011
Microsoft's Xbox TV Platform Launches Tomorrow
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On Dec. 6th, Microsoft will new interface for its Xbox game console users that will allows them to navigate through music, movies, TV shows and games with the wave of their hand or the sound of their voice.
The interface is set up similarly to Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system with a series of large panes showing content options.
Using the console's Kinect motion controller, the Xbox owners will be able to swipe through screens by waving their hand in the air. The controller will also respond to voice commands, and incorporates Microsoft's search engine, Bing.
Windows phone users can control what to watch or hear by tapping on their portable devices. A free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let users search through Bing as well as for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps using the Windows phone. Users will be also able to get friend activity (friends online, friends with beacons, friends who have recently played), achievements and related items. Users will be also able to select a search result, and launch a movie, TV show, game or app on the connected console as well as play, pause, fw, rw the playing video or music on the connected Xbox, initiate media purchase and navigate through Xbox console with Windows Phone using the Xbox Companion.
"A new era in entertainment begins where all your entertainment is together in one place - your games, movies, TV shows, music and sports," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "With this update, Xbox 360 system owners will experience Kinect voice control integrated with Bing search, making your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever."
Xbox 360 is building on its catalog of movies, sports, television and music available through Hulu Plus, Last.fm, Netflix, Zune music and video and ESPN, as well as on its existing lineup of great TV providers, such as AT&T U-verse TV in the U.S., TELUS in Canada, BSkyB in the U.K., CANAL+ in France, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom in Russia and FOXTEL in Australia, by also now rolling out the following new entertainment partners and apps on Dec 6:
EPIX. United States
ESPN on Xbox LIVE (ESPN). United States
Hulu Plus. United States
LOVEFiLM. United Kingdom
Netflix. Canada, United States
Premium Play by (MediaSet). Italy
Sky Go (SkyDE). Germany
Telefonica Espana - Movistar Imagenio. Spain
TODAY (MSNBC). United States
Later this month, the following apps will also roll out:
4 on Demand (C4). United Kingdom
ABC iView (Australian Broadcasting Corp.). Australia
AlloCine. France (AlloCin), Germany (Filmstarts), Spain (Sensacine), United Kingdom (Screenrush)
Astral Media's Disney XD (Astral Media). Canada
blinkbox (Blinkbox). United Kingdom
Crackle (Sony Pictures). Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States
Dailymotion. Available in 32 countries globally
Demand 5 (Five). United Kingdom
DIGI+ (CANAL+). Spain
GolTV (Mediapro). Spain
iHeartRadio (Clear Channel). United States
Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF). Germany
MSN. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom
MSNBC.com. United States
MUZU.TV. Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports). Canada
Rogers On Demand Online (Rogers Media). Canada
SBS ON DEMAND.Australia
Sky Go (SkyDE). Austria
TMZ (Warner Bros.). Canada, United States
TVE (RTVE.es). Spain
UFC on Xbox LIVE (UFC). Canada, United States
Verizon FiOS TV. United States
VEVO. Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
Vudu (Wal-Mart). United States
YouTube. Available in 24 countries globally
By early 2012, the following apps will be accessible through Xbox 360:
Antena 3 (Antena 3 de Television). Spain
BBC (BBC). United Kingdom
CinemaNow (Best Buy). United States
HBO GO (HBO). United States
MLB.TV (MLB Advanced Media). Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States
Telenovelas/Sports (Televisa). Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom
Xfinity On Demand (Comcast). United States
Microsoft says that it has more than 57 million Xbox 360 consoles in homes across the world, and more than 35 million of those are connected to Xbox LIVE, a service which sees its members log cumulatively 2.1 billion hours a month.
Many of the offerings require separate pay TV subscriptions or one-time payments. Much of the content also requires being a gold member of Xbox Live, a connected Internet service that costs $60 a year.