I wanted to let everyone know that this is a huge week for us because Xbox is taking several important steps to expand your entertainment experience. This week we’ll have the new console update, Xbox coming to Windows 8 and the launch of SmartGlass experiences across your favorite devices.
Starting Tuesday, October 23rd, we are rolling out the Xbox 360 dashboard update to the remainder of our Xbox LIVE Members.
- Refreshed Xbox 360 Dashboard. We’ve updated the UI with a few things, including an updated layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in the US, a Sports destination.
- Pinning. Pinning lets you personalize the dashboard by saving your favorite movies, TV shows, games, music, videos and websites right to the home screen. It’s as easy as opening an app or a favorite movie and clicking “pin.”
- Internet Explorer for Xbox. With Internet Explorer on Xbox, you can easily find and view internet content on the biggest screen in the house, including HTML5 videos. Pin your favorite pages directly to the web hub or the dashboard.
- Recommendations and Ratings. Recommendations will allow you to discover new movies, TV shows and games, generated based on a number of variables including the content you previously viewed, what your friends are consuming and what is most relevant and popular with our Xbox community. You can now rate content yourself and also see Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
- Xbox Video. Formerly called Zune Video Marketplace, Xbox Video offers hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies for buying or renting in instant HD streaming.
- Recent. Previously called Quick Play, the recent view gives you a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that you most recently accessed on the console.
- Enhanced Search. The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing voice search to Xbox so you could use voice to search for movies, TV shows, actors, directors and artists. This year we added genre search to the list, so now you can search for action, comedy, romance, drama or sci-fi. Bing voice search now includes results for video across the Web and YouTube.
- International Expansion of Voice Search. We’ve expanded our 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, we are launching Microsoft’s premier entertainment service. This is the year Xbox will light up entertainment on your Windows 8 tablet or PC. We want to make Windows the best place for gaming, the best video experience bar none, and combine all the elements people love about music into one service.
- Xbox Games. Xbox Games for Windows 8 will bring many of the games you already know and love, 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 you to earn the Achievements that you we know you love; and many will also take advantage of other Xbox features, including leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and connecting with friends.
- Xbox Music. Xbox Music is a brand-new service, built from the ground up, to meet all your music needs across your tablet, PC, Phone and TV. Xbox Music is the ultimate all-in-one music service, featuring free music streaming on Windows 8 tablets and PCs, download to own, subscription, artist-based radio, plus comprehensive discovery from one of the world’s largest music catalogs.
- Xbox Video. Xbox Video is a first run video service offering tens of 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 key foundational experiences for interacting with your Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom. Additionally, you will get SmartGlass experiences with Xbox Video and Xbox Music starting this week. Xbox SmartGlass will be a free downloadable app that takes your Windows 8 tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices, and converts them into a smart second screen for the entertainment you are enjoying through your Xbox.
I have gotten a few questions on what games and apps will support Xbox SmartGlass, so I wanted to share a few a list of some of the apps and games that will support Xbox SmartGlass in the coming months.
Dance Central 3
Home Run Stars
Kinect Sesame Street TV
NBA Game Time
For more details on the update, read our blog post (and watch the video) on the Microsoft News Center
If you have any questions or need help with the update, be sure to hit up @XboxSupport, they’re ready to help!
Follow me on Twitter find out when the Xbox SmartGlass apps become available