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Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 brings voice control to living room

This morning Xbox 360 owners will be provided with an exciting new firmware update that will enable voice control and enhance video streaming. From the comfort of your own couch, you will be able to control such services as Netflix, Zune music, Crackle and Rogers On Demand and more.

Kinect users will be able to also use gestures as well as voice control to navigate and search through the video streaming services. The interface is similar to the upcoming Windows 8 interface (Windows Phone 7) and promises a great new user experience. In order to use these features, an Xbox Live Gold membership is required and the applications may require a subscription. What are you waiting for? Go get the update and report the experience here! Do you think this will have an impact on other streaming set top boxes such as Apple TV and Boxee Box?

 

Press Release »

The Future of TV Begins Now on Xbox 360

Kinect for Xbox 360 brings voice control to living room entertainment with update that launches Dec. 6.

TORONTO. — Dec. 5, 2011 — A revolution is happening in the living room. Xbox 360 is transforming how you enjoy TV entertainment and is giving you the power to control it with your voice. The next generation of TV entertainment begins with the announcement by Microsoft Corp. of the launch of an all-new Xbox 360 experience including the first group of new, custom applications from world leading TV and entertainment content providers on Xbox LIVE.

“A new era in entertainment begins where all your entertainment is together in one place — your games, movies, TV shows, music and sports,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “With this update, Xbox 360 system owners will experience Kinect voice control integrated with Bing search, making your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever.”

“Microsoft has just built and delivered it: A single box that ties together all the content you want, made easily accessible through a universal, natural, voice-directed search. This is now the benchmark against which all other living room initiatives should be compared,” said James McQuivey of Forrester Research in “Engaged TV: Xbox 360 Leads The Way To A New Video Product Experience,”* Sunday, Dec. 4. “…with more than 57 million people worldwide already sitting on a box that’s about to be upgraded for free, Microsoft has not only built the right experience, it has ensured that it will spread quickly and with devastating effect.”

 You Say It, Xbox Finds It

How long does it take you to search and find your favourite movie or TV show? Do you find yourself searching hundreds of channels and multiple services and TV inputs? What if the entertainment you craved was simple, discoverable and exactly what you wanted at that particular moment?

Now, finding your favourite entertainment is easier than ever. Last year, Kinect for Xbox 360 revolutionized controller-free entertainment by letting you use your body and voice to play your favourite games and entertainment, turning you into the controller. The power of Kinect combined with the intelligence of Bing search is turning your voice into the ultimate remote control. With Bing on Xbox, you can use your voice to effortlessly find the games, movies, TV shows and music you want and discover the best offerings on Xbox LIVE, by simply saying what you’re searching for. You say it, Xbox finds it. Beginning tomorrow and over the coming weeks, Bing on Xbox voice search will initially be available in English in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for Zune video, Xbox LIVE Marketplace and select content partners. For those who do not have a Kinect for Xbox 360, text search will be available in Xbox LIVE markets.

All Your Entertainment, All in One Box

This holiday, in addition to offering the best blockbuster and Kinect games, Xbox 360 consoles are set to deliver live and on-demand TV shows, movies, videos, sports, music and news, becoming the best device to experience all your entertainment. TV and movie fans can instantly stream their favourite episodes of current television shows all season long, as well as past favourites and new-release movies.

Xbox 360 is building on its expansive catalog of movies,television and music available through Netflix, Zune music, Crackle and Rogers On Demand as well as on its existing lineup of great TV providers, such as AT&T U-verse® TV in the U.S., TELUS in Canada, BSkyB in the U.K., CANAL+ in France, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom in Russia and FOXTEL in Australia, by also now rolling out the following new entertainment partners and apps**:

Later in December:

  • 4 on Demand (C4). United Kingdom
  • ABC iView (Australian Broadcasting Corp.). Australia
  • AlloCiné. France (AlloCiné), Germany (Filmstarts), Spain (Sensacine), United Kingdom (Screenrush)
  • Astral Media’s Disney XD (Astral Media). Canada
  • blinkbox (Blinkbox). United Kingdom
  • Crackle (Sony Pictures). Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States
  • Dailymotion. Available in 32 countries globally
  • Demand 5 (Five). United Kingdom
  • DIGI+ (CANAL+). Spain
  • GolTV (Mediapro). Spain
  • iHeartRadio (Clear Channel). United States
  • Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF). Germany
  • MSN. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom
  • MSNBC.com. United States
  • MUZU.TV. Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
  • ninemsn. Australia
  • Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports). Canada
  • Rogers On Demand Online (Rogers Media). Canada
  • SBS ON DEMAND. Australia
  • TMZ (Warner Bros.). Canada, United States
  • TVE (RTVE.es). Spain
  • UFC on Xbox LIVE (UFC). Canada, United States
  • Verizon FiOS TV. United States
  • VEVO. Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
  • Vudu (Wal-Mart). United States
  • YouTube. Available in 24 countries globally

Early 2012:

  • Antena 3 (Antena 3 de Televisión). Spain
  • BBC (BBC). United Kingdom
  • CinemaNow (Best Buy). United States
  • HBO GO (HBO). United States
  • MLB.TV (MLB Advanced Media). Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States
  • Telenovelas/Sports (Televisa). Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom
  • Xfinity On Demand (Comcast). United States

In October, nearly 40 leading TV and entertainment providers around the world announced they would bring customized, voice-controlled experiences to Xbox 360 systems. Today, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, and VUDU became the latest leading entertainment providers to announce they are bringing their experiences to Xbox 360 consoles. MLB.TV subscribers will be able to access every regular season game, live and on-demand, in HD picture quality with an array of interactive functionalities. VUDU offers more than 45,000 blockbusters, Hollywood classics, independent films and TV shows, including the largest library of HD content available anywhere, with the highest quality streaming and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. With VUDU, movies are available the same day they are released on DVD and Blu-ray. More information is available at http://www.VUDU.com.

The Best Entertainment Platform Offers Choice

Whether choosing the movie you want to watch or the service you want to watch it from, the best entertainment platform gives you a variety of options. Not only is Microsoft bringing all your entertainment and entertainment services to Xbox 360 consoles, it is giving you multiple choices in how you interact with that content, including your voice, your controller and now your Windows Phone. Starting Dec. 6, the free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let you find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. Thanks to the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 has transformed social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment centre of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with a leading social entertainment network of more than 35 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.ca.

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360, connecting you to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sports and social entertainment. Xbox LIVE lets you play the best games, enjoy one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries on any console, listen to millions of songs and share the fun with friends around the world. Xbox LIVE is also the exclusive home of controller-free online entertainment through Kinect, making your Xbox 360 more intuitive and interactive than ever before. With an active community of more than 35 million people across 35 countries, Xbox LIVE, together with Xbox 360, provides you with instant access to the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, wherever you are. More information about Xbox LIVE can be found online at http://www.xbox.ca/live.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* “Engaged TV: Xbox 360 Leads The Way To A New Video Product Experience,” Sunday, Dec. 4, Forrester Research,

http://blogs.forrester.com/james_mcquivey/11-12-04-introducing_engaged_tv_xbox_360_leads_the_way_to_a_new_video_product_experience

** Schedule subject to change. Available features and content subject to change. Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or additional subscriptions/fees may be required. Kinect functionality available with select Xbox LIVE content and varies by feature and country. For additional details and availability, seehttp://www.xbox.ca/live.

 

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