The next generation of TV entertainment has begun says Microsoft
Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 05-12-2011
Microsoft is claiming a revolution in the living room with all-new Xbox 360 experience that offers custom apps from leading TV and entertainment content providers.
"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."
Crucially Microsoft has developed the content catalogue that will be available on the Xbox 360. Partner firms and services rolling out apps to coincide with the new launch include Hulu Plus, Last.fm, Netflix, Zune video and ESPN, as well as AT&T U-verse TV, EPIX , TELUS, BSkyB, CANAL+, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom, FOXTEL, LOVEFiLM, Premium Play by (MediaSet), Telefónica España – Movistar Imagenio, Sky Go (SkyDE), Today (MSNBC).
By the end of December other services supporting the new Xbox will include 4 on Demand, ABC iView, AlloCine, Astral Media's Disney XD, blinkbox, Crackle from Sony Pictures, Dailymotion, Demand 5 (Five), DIGI+ (CANAL+), GolTV (Mediapro), iHeartRadio (Clear Channel), Mediathek/ZDF, MSN, MSNBC.com, MUZU.TV, ninemsn, Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports), Rogers On Demand Online, SBS ON DEMAND, TMZ, TVE (RTVE.es), UFC, Verizon FiOS TV, VEVO, Vudu (Wal-Mart) and YouTube.
The new technology builds on the work done with Kinect for Xbox 360 in 2010, specifically in the field of controller-free entertainment by letting viewers use their body and voice to play games and entertainment, turning the user into the controller. Combining Kinect with Bing search enables voice as a remote control to find games, movies and TV shows.
Bing on Xbox voice search will initially be available in English in the US, Canada and the UK for Zune video, Xbox LIVE Marketplace and select content partners. For those who do not have a Kinect for Xbox 360, text search will be available.
Already the analyst community are proclaiming the launch as a major step in home entertainment. “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," enthused James McQuivey of Forrester Research in "With more than 57 million people worldwide already sitting on a box that's about to be upgraded for free, Microsoft has not only built the right experience, it has ensured that it will spread quickly and with devastating effect."