Microsoft is making steps to expand users' entertainment experience with a new Xbox 360 update, Xbox on Windows 8 devices and the launch of SmartGlass later this week.
Starting from Tuesday, October 23rd, Microsoft is rolling out the Xbox 360 dashboard update to the remainder of its Xbox LIVE Members. The update includes a refreshed Xbox 360 Dashboard, now offering a new layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in the US, a Sports destination. Users will be able to personalize the dashboard by saving their favorite movies, TV shows, games, music, videos and websites right to the home screen. The internet explorer browser is also coming on Xbox 360, along with recommendations and ratings of movies, TV shows and games. Microsoft is also renames the Zune Video Marketplace to Xbox Video - a place where users can buy or rent TV shows and movies stream them in HD.
Previously called Quick Play, the uptdated 'recent view' gives users a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that they most recently accessed on the console.
The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing voice search to Xbox. This year Microsoft added genre search to the list, so now users can search for action, comedy, romance, drama or sci-fi. Finally, Microsoft is expanding its Kinect voice search capabilities to 9 new countries - Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.
And with the launch of Xbox on Windows 8 on October 26, Microsoft is also launching a premier entertainment service on Windows 8 tablets and PCs:
- Xbox Games. Xbox Games for Windows 8 will bring games like Angry Birds Starwars, Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja and more. These games will be playable on any Windows 8 PC, laptop or tablet. All Xbox games for Windows 8 will allow users to earn the Achievements; and many will also take advantage of other Xbox features, including leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and connecting with friends.
- Xbox Music. Xbox Music is a new service, built from the ground up, to meet users' music needs across your tablet, PC, Phone and TV. Xbox Music is featuring free music streaming on Windows 8 tablets and PCs, download to own, subscription, artist-based radio, plus discovery from one of the world?s largest music catalogs.
- Xbox Video. Xbox Video is a first run video service offering thousands of movies and TV shows for buying or renting in HD.
Plus, Xbox SmartGlass will also be available later this week when Windows 8 launches on October 26th. When the Xbox SmartGlass app launches on tablets, PCs and smartphones, it will include new experiences for interacting with the Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom. Additionally, users will get SmartGlass experiences with Xbox Video and Xbox Music starting this week. Xbox SmartGlass will be a free downloadable app that takes Windows 8 tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices, and converts them into a smart second screen for the entertainment users are enjoying through their Xbox.