Microsoft is making steps to expand users' entertainment experience
with a new Xbox 360 update, Xbox on Windows 8 devices and the launch of SmartGlass later this week.
Starting from Tuesday, October 23rd, Microsoft is rolling out the
Xbox 360 dashboard update to the remainder of its Xbox LIVE Members.
The update includes a refreshed Xbox 360 Dashboard, now offering a
new layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in
the US, a Sports destination. Users will be able to personalize the
dashboard by saving their favorite movies, TV shows, games, music,
videos and websites right to the home screen. The internet explorer
browser is also coming on Xbox 360, along with recommendations and
ratings of movies, TV shows and games. Microsoft is also renames
the Zune Video Marketplace to Xbox Video - a place where users can
buy or rent TV shows and movies stream them in HD.
Previously called Quick Play, the uptdated 'recent view' gives users
a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that they
most recently accessed on the console.
The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing voice search to Xbox. This
year Microsoft added genre search to the list, so now users can
search for action, comedy, romance, drama or sci-fi. Finally,
Microsoft is expanding its Kinect voice search capabilities to 9 new
countries - Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain,
Austria, and Ireland.
And with the launch of Xbox on Windows 8 on October 26, Microsoft is
also launching a premier entertainment service on Windows 8 tablets
- Xbox Games. Xbox Games for Windows 8 will bring games like Angry
Birds Starwars, Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja and more. These games
will be playable on any Windows 8 PC, laptop or tablet. All Xbox
games for Windows 8 will allow users to earn the Achievements; and
many will also take advantage of other Xbox features, including
leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and connecting with friends.
- Xbox Music. Xbox Music is a new service, built from the ground up,
to meet users' music needs across your tablet, PC, Phone and TV.
Xbox Music is featuring free music streaming on Windows 8 tablets
and PCs, download to own, subscription, artist-based radio, plus
discovery from one of the world?s largest music catalogs.
- Xbox Video. Xbox Video is a first run video service offering
thousands of movies and TV shows for buying or renting in HD.
Plus, Xbox SmartGlass will also be available later this week when
Windows 8 launches on October 26th. When the Xbox SmartGlass app
launches on tablets, PCs and smartphones, it will include new
experiences for interacting with the Xbox 360, such as dashboard and
app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input,
scrolling and pinch and zoom. Additionally, users will get
SmartGlass experiences with Xbox Video and Xbox Music starting this
week. Xbox SmartGlass will be a free downloadable app that takes
Windows 8 tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices,
and converts them into a smart second screen for the entertainment
users are enjoying through their Xbox.
Here is a list of some of the apps and games that will support Xbox
SmartGlass in the coming months:
Dance Central 3
Home Run Stars
Kinect Sesame Street TV
NBA Game Time
Starting this fall, Microsoft will be also rolling out the
"Entertainment for All" pricing plan that enables users to buy an
Xbox 360 for $99 when you sign up for 2 years of Xbox LIVE.
Entertainment For All Plan will include U.S. retailers: Best Buy,
GameStop, Walmart, Toys R Us and the Microsoft Store.