New Xbox Live Upgrade Brings TV and Movies Galore To Xbox 360 As Microsoft Eyes Future

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Xbox 360If you have your Xbox 360 hooked up to the Internet, and why wouldn’t you, quite frankly, then it will update itself tomorrow to the latest version of the Xbox Live dashboard. And this upgrade brings television and movies galore to the games console.

Xbox Live Upgrade

We have known this large and rather impressive Xbox Live upgrade was coming since the beginning of October, and it’s finally set to land on the Xbox 360 consoles of gamers tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011).

Everything is pretty much as expected, with a host of broadcasters and content providers partnering with Microsoft to have their movies and television shows available to watch directly through the online service. Bravo, ESPN, HBO, Syfy, BBC, Canal+, FOXTEL, MediaSet, and ZDF are just a few of the names launching on Xbox Live, with many in the U.S., others in countries around the world.

They’re not all free: an Xbox Live Gold subscription is a must, while many of the individual companies have their own subscription packages. But that doesn’t take away from the joy of having all these services available on the one set-top box. One which has 35 million users.

Search and Voice

Xbox Live users will be able to search the full set of content providers – using the Bing-powered search engine built into the service – to find a particular TV show or movie. It is this search capability which has Ryan Lawler at NewTeeVee calling this “the first big step to true video convergence.”

Voice-powered search will also play a part, with the Xbox Live upgrade utilizing Kinect and it voice recognition feature to allow gamers to talk to their Xbox 360. According to GeekWire, addressing the console directly by saying, “Xbox…” followed by whatever it is you want to find should have the desired effect.

The Future

Make no mistake about it, this Xbox Live upgrade is an important step on the road to a future where we watch whatever we want whenever we want to. And not on a computer but on the big TV which dominates most people’s living rooms now. And Microsoft is leading the way.

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