Xbox 360: It’s Not Just for Gaming Any More
Adding Internet Explorer to the Xbox 360 is just the beginning.
Microsoft’s vision for their console is much larger than just games, as evidenced by the fact that at least half of their E3 press conference consisted of announcements that were not specifically video game related. Their new services cover all the entertainment bases; movies, music, TV shows, streaming video services, smart phone integration, social networking, and even fitness training leaving almost everything covered in their quest to dominate living rooms the world over.
You may recall about a month ago we reported that there was a Kinect enabled version of Internet Explorer on the way to the Xbox 360 dashboard. At their recent press event at E3, Microsoft revealed this to the public, and openly demonstrated the software’s ability to replace standard mouse and keyboard browsing with Kinect supported motion and voice control. They also showed off the ability to navigate using assistance from your personal smartphone or tablet using Smart Glass, as detailed here.
Microsoft has had ESPN 3’s streaming services and MLB games on Xbox Live for a while now, and as part of their recent press conference, they announced that they will be adding support from the NBA via Gametime League Pass, and NHL. They also revealed that ESPN on Xbox will begin to offer 24/7 live programming. Microsoft also showed off the logos of several prominent video and entertainment resources including Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Machinima, and Univision, stating that they will be adding their services to Xbox Live in the near future.
Microsoft also unveiled a new multi-platform music service for Xbox Live, Windows 8 PCs, Phones, and Tablets. They stated that the service already has over 30 million tracks slated to appear, and that it will be cloud backed, negating the need to clog multiple hard drives with the content. The service will also feature a “smart DJ service” that will allow you to easily find music and create playlists for your tracks and music videos.
A guest from Nike also appeared, and spent a significant portion of time talking about a new training and fitness program for Xbox utilizing Kinect. The program will use phone integration and online feedback to track statistics and progress, as well as allow users to compare their stats with their friends, and compete across multiple physical activities using the Kinect sensor.
Microsoft may have spent a lot of time on new features and non-gaming services, but that doesn’t mean gamers were left completely in the cold. Stay tuned to PixlBit for complete E3 coverage of Microsoft’s other announcements, including several titles featuring exclusive Kinect support.