An update set to roll out Tuesday for the Xbox Live network aims to transform a platform designed primarily for gaming into one that will be the major sector for all television viewing.Microsoft promises the update, which it calls “the future of TV,” can “transform every Xbox 360 into an all-in-one device to enjoy your entertainment.”
“The update is another huge step toward realizing our vision of bringing you all your entertainment, shared with the people you care about, in an easy way,” Marc Whitten, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Xbox Live, wrote on the official Microsoft blog.
The Xbox was the first gaming console to include Netflix and has since added entertainment partners such as ESPN, Hulu Plus, AT&T U-verse and last.fm. But Microsoft, hoping a bevy of new apps will up the ante, is adding content from 40 new partners while making existing content easier to view.
The update’s key new features will be a voice-control interface that will let users retrieve videos, television channels, games or other content simply by asking for it.
The feature combines the Xbox 360’s hands-free Kinect system with technology from Microsoft’s Bing search engine to hunt down the content. Primarily billed as a gaming tool, Kinect uses a 3-D video camera and voice recognition to let the user interact with the TV screen without a controller.
The new partners, or updated apps, to be unveiled Tuesday include content from ESPN, Hulu, Netflix and MSNBC in the United States. In the coming weeks and months, Xbox will add YouTube, Best Buy’s CinemaNow, HBO Go, Major League Baseball and Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand. Time Warner, HBO’s parent company, also owns CNN.Microsoft said the update will also add social features, from voting on who you think will win the big game to tools letting you notify friends when you’re tackling a multiplayer game they can join. Do you think this is a game changer?
source : http://cnn.com