Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is launching a new interface for Xbox game consoles that will allow users to navigate through music, movies, TV shows, games, etc. by waving your hand or using your voice. The upgrade will be going live tomorrow.
Microsoft is also launching several other new features through the upgrade. This includes a new dashboard user interface and improved Kinect voice commands.
?We think you?re going to use one device for movies, music and games in the future,? said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Live entertainment and advertising, in an interview. ?We want to make the content accessible and enhance the actual experience. We think you will want to watch it on Xbox as it is more social and more personal.?
The update will give people access to on-demand TV, movies, and user-generated videos. For example, you will be able to have access to 26 TV channels from Verizon’s FiOS TV service or Comcast’s complete library of 10,000 On Demand movies.
When you say the word “Xbox,” the Microsoft Kinect motion-sensor wakes up. You can say “Bing” to use the search function across the console. From there if you say “Iron Man 2,” then the movie will be pulled up. You can watch the movie through Zune, Vudu, Epix or Netflix from there. Netflix requires a separate subscription.
The new user interface was designed around Microsoft’s signature Metro look, which has square tiles and buttons that are used on Windows Phone 7. When Microsoft releases the Windows 8 desktop operating system, it will also have the Metro look.
About 57 million Xbox consoles have been sold around the world and 35 million users have logged on to the Xbox Live service at least one in the past 3 months. About 40 content partners are expected to be a part of the platform and apps will be rolled out gradually over time from them.