Moments ago, Microsoft US released a major XBOX announcement for the US and global Marketplace. XBOX TV is coming soon to worldwide markets. In a quote from their press release: “A total of 50 world-leading TV and entertainment partners have joined Xbox 360 & Xbox LIVE to transform TV entertainment. Xbox LIVE currently has 35 million members worldwide who spend 2.1 billion hours a month on the service, which saw three times the growth in video consumption last year.”
The service will feature some killer features as well – with full Kinect Voice commands combined with WP7 remote control functionality and marketplace browsing for desired content via a soon-to-be-released free App. Nice work MS!
Here’s a graphic to show the spread of worldwide markets, and partners, combining with Microsoft to launch XBOX TV on a huge scale.
For Australia, the services being added or expanded under this XBOX TV launch will be:
- FOXTEL (existing XBOX partner): LINK
- ABC iview: LINK
- SBS on Demand: LINK
- Crackle (Free TV/Movie Streaming): LINK
- Twitter & Zune.
- And other web content such as Dailymotion, YouTube etc.
Source: Blogpost MS MajorNelson
The new XBOX TV service will feature seamless integration of Kinect Voice control with Bing search also merged into the console experience:
Xbox Entertainment — Personal, Effortless, Social
“With Kinect for Xbox 360, there are no remotes, no buttons, no worries. Consumers will prefer to experience entertainment on Xbox 360 because it allows them to easily search and discover content across multiple entertainment providers within Xbox LIVE and interact and enjoy that content in extraordinary new ways. Gone are the days of managing a handful of remote controls, trying to remember what movies are available from what service, and hunting back and forth across television inputs. Using voice search with Bing on Xbox, easily look across a variety of branded services and play the programming you want without ever raising a finger. Having trouble finding last night’s episode of “The Office”? It’s now only a voice command away. Just say “Xbox, Bing, ‘The Office,’ ” and Xbox finds it.”
Want to share what you have been watching with your friends list?
“Not only is entertainment effortless on Xbox 360, it is more social and personal. Everything in Xbox has been designed to share with friends. Share recommendations, and show the Xbox LIVE community what games you’re playing, movies you’re watching and music you’re listening to, as well as invite them to join in — even post your game achievements and info about your favorite movies directly to your Facebook wall from Xbox LIVE. It’s simple: With your social network along for the ride, the world’s leading content providers and the magic of Kinect, entertainment experiences are better on Xbox LIVE.”
WOW – Check it out in action: The New Xbox TV Experience:
That is so cool! The only thing is for my household – it needs to have a built-in scold mode, to bring unruly children to order as I can see my 3 boys conducting an XBOX activated 3-way argument to wrestle control of the Kinect voice control!
You may have also noticed the Windows Phone App featured towards the end of that video. Simultaneously today, the Windows Team Blog for Windows Phone have gone on to confirm the imminent arrival of the companion XBOX TV App for WP7. Ben the PC Guy goes on to say;
“Watch that video closely and you’ll notice that around the 1 minute mark, the girl in the striped shirt pulls out a Windows Phone and starts to search for content that magically appears on her Xbox. What she’s using is the insanely awesome (but still not quite available) Xbox Companion App. The app, which will be completely free for Windows Phone users, is an amazing little tool that will let you Find, Learn more about and Control content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace on your Xbox 360.”
Ben then goes on to state that he was able to use the WP7 Beta XBOX Companion App (not available yet – MS only) to search for XBOX content on his phone (a movie for eg), get more info on the content (cast etc) and then select the movie for playback on the XBOX, at which point the WP7 App+handset becomes a controller for playback etc to your XBOX (or you can use voice+Kinect per the video).
Brilliance! Can’t wait for this to hit Down Under