Microsoft takes on Google TV with the new Xbox

Xbox

According to The Verge, the new Xbox (Xbox 720) will be  much more than a game console. Already it is possible to use the current Xbox as a video player, but the new Xbox will go much further.

The sources that talked to The Verge mention that the new Xbox will be able to create an overlay on top of the existing TV channel showing extra features and menu items. You will have to plug the TV cable into the Xbox. The enhanced signal will then be distributed to your TV screen via a HDMI cable. This could mean real-time additional information and features for TV shows and films. Real-time enhancements of TV shows has been promised for a while now, but so far we have not seen a successful implementation. And although I would love to try it, I am still not convinced that people are really going to use it. Especially not when there are more than one watching.

Obviously, the next Xbox will have a Kinect sensor as well. The Xbox 720 Kinect sensor is supposed to detect multiple simultaneously and will be able to pause the program when viewers look away. I am not really sure if this would be a feature I would use as I love to look at my phone or do other things whilst watching. And I guess I am not the only one.

With a Xbox event planned in May, we hopefully do not need to wait much longer for the final specifications.

Pulp: First exclusive film on the Xbox live platform

Xbox live film Pulp

It might not seem that significant, but then again, it might be part of a much bigger picture. Microsoft just  released their first exclusive Xbox live film. It’s a British comedy called Pulp and you can buy it for 1120 Microsoft Points (USD 14.75) for the SD version or 1420 Microsoft Points (USD 17.75) for the HD one.

In view of the introduction of the much rumoured new Xbox 720 and of course the success of Netflix’s House of Cards and their USD 300 million budget for creating own content this might be interesting. First of all, I wrote that this is the first exclusive film for Xbox live. Now that is an assumption. It can be that this turns out to be a one-off. But I think there will be more. It would not surprise me that together with the launch of a new Xbox, Microsoft will bring a lot of content into the ecosystem. A lot of that will be recycled films and series, so to stand out they will have to bring more. This could mean more exclusive produced for Xbox live. And as the new Xbox will be an integral part of the Windows 8 family, this content will be available on your desktop, Surface and mobile phone too.