Print 23 comment(s) - last by SHIND0 HIKARU.. on Dec 9 at 8:26 PM

Bing search will be used to search content in the various apps, and those with Kinect can do so by using their voice

Microsoft will launch a major Xbox Live update this holiday season that lumps video games, TV shows, movies, music and sports all into a new group of applications that can be controlled by your voice.

Microsoft has reached agreements with over 40 media firms to bring live and on-demand movies and television content for the Xbox 360 console. Users must have an Xbox Live Gold membership in order to access this content.

The Xbox 360 update will switch from the Xbox's traditional interface to the new tile-based, Metro look that is very similar to that of Windows Phone 7. The tiles will represent different available applications.

Speaking of Windows Phone, those with the device can use the free Xbox Companion app to find this content on-the-go.

Microsoft will be using its Bing search engine to allow Xbox 360 users to search any content found within the applications. For those with Kinect, content can be searched using voice control.

"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."

The update will start rolling out tomorrow and continue introducing new apps into early 2012 throughout several different countries. The following is a list of content providers and the dates in which they will be available on Xbox Live:

December 6

Hulu Plus
Premium Play by (MediaSet)
Sky Go (SkyDE)
Telefónica España - Movistar Imagenio

Later in December

4 on Demand (C4)
ABC iView (Australia Broadcasting Corp.)
Astral Media's Disney XD (Astral Media)
blinkbox (Blinkbox)
Crackle (Sony Pictures)
Demand 5 (Five)
GolTV (Mediapro)
iHeartRadio (Clear Channel)
Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF)
Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports)
Rogers On Demand Online (Rogers Media)
Sky Go (SkyDE)
TMZ (Warner Bros.)
UFC on Xbox Live (UFC)
Verizon FiOS TV
Vudu (Wal-Mart)

Early 2012

Antena 3 (Antena 3 de Televisión)
CinemaNow (Best Buy)
Telenovelas/Sports (Televisa)
Xfinity on Demand (Comcast)

“Microsoft has just built and delivered it: A single box that ties together all the content you want, made easily accessible through a universal, natural, voice-directed search. This is now the benchmark against which all other living room initiatives should be compared,” said James McQuivey of Forrester Research.

Source: Microsoft

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By Raiders12 on 12/5/2011 10:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
I've been onboard with Live since its inception way back, and it is definitely worth the subscription price they charge now adays. Microsoft has done a great job rolling out updates and enhancing the XBL interface and capability. I may just extend my Gold service for a year!

RE: Excellent
By The Raven on 12/5/2011 11:03:43 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah that is until they decide that whether or not you want all of this crap, you will have to pay for it a la increasing XBL fees.

No thanks. My BD player has it all (and more) in the living room and my Roku has it all in the bedroom. Plus the Roku only pulls 2 watts compared to the Xbox's 60+. The BD player is probably around 15ish.

I like XBL but I wish there would be less emphasis on turning this into an "everything (but BD ;-) device" and more on making it do the things it does better. Have you ever tried to navigate your network music? Horrendous! They haven't improved that since the thing has been out. Also the it is nice that Zune can stream stuff instantly, but how about some love on the interface. I hate that I have to boot that thing up every time I want to watch a locally stored video. And how do I get rid of all the crap I have watched. Yes I watched a preview of Underdog back in 2007. Why do I have to be reminded of that every time I look through my videos?

So if you want to make YOUR device more marketable go ahead and bring on the apps, but please please don't use this as an excuse to increase our XBL fees like last time around MS. I get this stuff for free on other devices.

RE: Excellent
By Da W on 12/5/2011 11:23:03 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why you can do all this and play most good Xbox games with an HTPC, have a blue ray drive and have everything else just better.
Got to pay a heavier up-front cost though.

RE: Excellent
By Iaiken on 12/5/2011 11:47:07 AM , Rating: 3
Once I was able to get my PS3 controllers & remote working with my PC over BT and a TV that could receive streaming directly over Wi-Fi that was basically the end of my PS3 as a media device.

My media server lives in a ventilated closet with three hacked BT-USB2 dongles sticking out of it. When I press the PS button on a paired PS3 controller or any button on my PS3 remote, the media server wakes up and sends a UPnP signal over Wi-Fi to the TV/Receiver to turn on.

As soon as the TV is fully on, I see the windows media sever menu (you could basically set up any media server you like this way) being streamed from the media PC. I can start browsing using the PS3 controller/remote and then kick off a new stream.

I am working on streaming the desktop and adding a BT mouse/kb into the mix, but Windows is being decidedly unhelpful in this regard.

Regardless, it's just a matter of time before this sort of setup (or something more advanced) becomes the norm.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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