Microsoft Rolls Out Red Carpet for Xbox One Streaming Apps
Microsoft unveils the first batch of TV and entertainment apps for the company's next-gen console two weeks before it arrives on store shelves.Xbox One buyers may flock to new gaming experiences, but Microsoft is also keen on positioning its upcoming new hardware as a capable, voice-enabled streaming box with no shortage of entertainment options. Microsoft "set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home," resulting in the "one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps," Marc Whitten, Xbox chief product officer, said in a Nov. 8 Xbox Wire post. Since the Xbox One's pre-E3 unveiling May 21, the tech titan has emphasized its TV and multimedia capabilities. Aided by the bundled Kinect motion sensor, users can issue voice commands to search for TV shows, movies and music and launch apps that stream entertainment into their living rooms. In demos and promotional videos, the Xbox One has been repeatedly shown to be able to switch between TV, movies, music and games with near-instant responsiveness and "snap" different activities for Windows 8-like multitasking. Now Microsoft is providing a clearer picture of what entertainment options will be made available for early adopters. "Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use," added Whitten.
In the U.S., Microsoft said that 19 TV and entertainment apps will be made available during the launch window (between Fri., Nov. 22, and spring 2014). They include online streaming heavyweights like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, along with cable TV companion apps from Verizon FiOS TV and HBO GO.