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Live TV Coming to Xbox

6 Jun, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

LOS ANGELES — Xbox 360 owners can look forward to live TV channels on their gaming system later this year, Microsoft announced during its Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, press event June 6.

Microsoft also plans to expand its content partnerships 10 times over in 2011, with available video and music expanding “from hundreds of thousands to millions,” said Marc Whitten, corporate VP for the Xbox Live service.

Microsoft also is adding voice search features for the gaming system via the Bing search engine, using the Kinect voice-and-motion-control system. On stage, Microsoft employees showed how a simple search for “X-Men” would pull up every available game, film and TV episode for the franchise.

“This is an incredible time of growth and innovation for our business, leveraging technologies that see us, hear us and connect us all together,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This year by bringing together the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing, we are transforming how people enjoy entertainment.”

The Bing search engine accesses all available content on Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN and the Xbox Live Marketplace.

For live TV, Microsoft did not have any specific partnerships to announce, but Xbox users in the United Kingdom, France and Australia already have been enjoying live TV, starting in 2009.

During 2011 Xbox owners also will get exclusive access to Ultimate Fighting Championship content, including live matches, classic fights, interviews and interactive content.

YouTube also soon will be added to the Xbox Live service, and also will be searchable using voice commands.

Also at E3, Microsoft unveiled new and upcoming games, including Gears of War 3, Forza Motorsport 4, Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, Ryse, Minecraft, Disneyland Adventures, Kinect Star Wars, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Dance Central 2, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden NFL, FIFA, Mass Effect 3 and Kinect Sports: Season Two. Most of the games allow use the Kinect motion control system.

Microsoft also debuted Kinect Fun Labs, an online hub that allows for various Kinect features, including player capture, object scanning and finger tracking.

About the Author: Chris Tribbey

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