The Xbox was originally designed as a gaming system, but due to a rapidly changing industry, Microsoft has shifted its goal for the Xbox brand. Microsoft’s now aims to control the living room. Designing a console not only to play games, but to be the household’s central media hub featuring a plethora of TV and entertainment possibilities. The Xbox launches worldwide soon… like today soon. While your in line, waiting for the day one update, or sitting by your window waiting for the package, we’re here to help figure out whats possible with the Xbox One.
Besides the wonderful assortment of AAA titles coming your way, Xbox One features plenty of TV and Entertainment options. The following services will be available at launch for the Xbox One with more slated to come through the Fall 2014. The local Australian apps found on the Xbox One: Network Ten’s Tenplay, SBS On Demand, and Quickflix. Global apps found on all Xbox On: TED, MUZU TV, Twitch Streaming, Crackle and Machinima.
As future owners can see the Xbox is packed with entertainment features to be the center of your living room. Network Ten’s Tenplay which launched this past September on various platforms will offer the same high quality video and live streaming services already found on phones and tablets. SBS On Demand is another multi-platform broadcaster providing catch-up television, while Quickflix will be available for all your online movie streaming and DVD needs.
Having fun playing your games? Well, Twitch is here to help others also enjoy your gaming as well. Now you can share what you’re playing or show off your skills in multiplayer by streaming it through Twitch TV. Crackle, a free and uncut television and movie streaming site will also be available at launch; although Crackle’s selection is limited there might be a few things to watch if you take a look around. TED will also be appearing on the new Xbox. For those unfamiliar with TED, it’s a platform that features talks and conferences in various fields from science to philosophy and literature. Those willing to scratch their intellectual itch will love TED; I already use it quite a bit on my smart phone already. On the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum, Machinima in all its insanity will be assisting in Microsoft’s hostile takeover of your living room. Watching Steve and Larson’s Top Ten’s on your big screen and surround sound will be a treat, although it might be too much for your senses to comprehend. Finally, MUZU TV will be pumping some tunes through your speakers. Create playlists and watch music videos, interviews, and behind the scenes looks at your favorite artists.
In addition to entertainment, additional functions can be found on the Xbox One such as a fully functional Internet Explorer, Skype, Microsoft’s own Xbox Music and Xbox Video. Xbox’s Skype functionality allows for group chat up to four people even while using other entertainment apps. There’s also no need to stay in one location since Kinect will track your movements automatically. Skydrive is available to players who wish to save their data to the cloud just in case something ever happens you your Xbox One, making sure your 3 dozen hours put into Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag won’t disappear forever. Gamers can now use Game DVR and Upload Studio to record, edit, and share your videos with your friends. For those loving a good home workout, Xbox Fitness brings together all the hottest workouts and makes them interactive using Kinect functionality.
Just too much entertainment to handle? Luckily Microsoft has you covered. The OneGuide is Xbox’s solution to organization and uses Kinect functionality such as motion gestures and voice commands to seamlessly transition from app to app. No need to navigate menus since all entertainment apps will be integrated with the OneGuide. Manage your favorite apps and use them side by side. If for some reason you weren’t aware, Kinect comes with the Xbox One, no need to worry about dishing out some more money for this functionality.
The Xbox 360 and the Kinect were built years apart from each other. This time however, Microsoft has developed the Xbox One and a completely redesigned and reengineered Kinect for complete integration. Kinect can work in almost all lighting conditions found inside your home, has an increased width and depth view, and can be used in a larger variety of room sizes. Voice control and motion gestures make for seamless transitions between gaming and your other entertainment options. Addressing “Xbox” aloud first and then telling it a destination is all you need to navigate around your system.
With families having multiple members, Microsoft has developed a biometric sign-in feature for Kinect. Just by recognizing your face it can sign you in to your personal Xbox home screen where you keep all of your favorite entertainment options handy. Your favorite music, videos, games and even your Skype contacts and information are all there… no password required.
One of the Xbox One’s more interesting capabilities is the ability to do two things at once. Taking split screen to a whole new level, gamers can watch Machinima, Skype with friends, and more while playing games or watching TV. Listen to some of your favorite music while grinding those last few levels to 100, no problem. Multitasking at its finest.
For those who already own a Microsoft’s SmartGlass or plan to get one soon, you’re always connected to Xbox and Xbox live. Xbox SmartGlass allows you to check your achievements, send or receive messages, watch uploaded clips by you and your friends. You can also use your SmartGlass app while using your Xbox to display and respond to messages or invites, look up gameplay and more. SmartGlass will be fully functional at the launch of the Xbox One and is compatible with Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android Devices.
Xbox One really aims to be your go to entertainment hub and as Jeremy Hinton, Interactive Entertainment Business Lead, Microsoft Australia said: “Xbox One is designed to be the center of the living room experience with gaming, television and entertainment.” With all these apps ranging from television, music, movies, Skype, Xbox Music and Video, Skydrive, SmartGlass and OneGuide functionality, the Xbox One seems to be well on their way. I hope this helps you understand what is possible with the Xbox One.