November 8, 2013
Xbox One To Reward Gamers for Watching Videos
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
If console gaming is a lean-forward activity, Microsoft has decided to reward gamers for the lean-back activity of watching videos on the forthcoming Xbox One console gaming system. The Redmond, WA-based software giant unveiled the complete Xbox One experience in a post on Xbox Wire on Friday. The new platform will offer "Media Achievements" similar to those achievements awarded to gamers for playing games.
A second post on Xbox Wire announces media partners including TV and entertainment apps that will be part of the Xbox One system. Media partners include Netflix, Crackle, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Twitch, Machinima, NFL, Univision Deportes, Amazon Instant Video, FX Now, Fox Now, Ted, Redbox Instant, CW, Muzu.TV and NFL.
"Offering more entertainment options has always been important to Xbox fans," the post on Xbox Wire opened. The new gaming console will add media categories such as movies, music, sports and live TV to video games -- the core component of the video game console.
"We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps," said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer, on the Xbox Wire post. "Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them a way that it seamless and easy to use."
Microsoft plans to deliver live TV in every market where Xbox One is sold. The company also developed the ability to use voice and gesture to control TV and entertainment apps. For using these apps, gamers will earn media achievements including badges and rewards for media they consume. However, Microsoft did not specify what those achievements will earn users.
While the Xbox One has an impressive roster of media partners, owners will rely on live TV and app-based media. Though the console has a hard drive, the system has limited DVR support, Cnet reports.
"It's easy to track down a program airing later that day using OneGuide, but once you find it, there's no way for the Xbox One to schedule a recording -- you need to pick up your cable box remote," wrote Cnet's Matthew Moskovciak.
It may be lacking in the DVR component, but the newly unveiled Xbox One experience offers a number of innovative features. The Xbox One will have a biometric sign in. Kinect will recognize the system owner and log that user into a personalized home screen. Presumably, if there are multiple users in the household, there will be an ability to have multiple logins.
The Xbox One will have instant resume and instant switching, which gives gamers the ability to jump from one experience to another. This means gamers can switch from live TV to a game, or listen to music by using a voice command.
Gamers may take some lean-back time to watch live TV or engage in media apps, however they may want to let in some interruptions. Gamers will be able to get a multiplayer invite to play a game while watching TV or browsing the web on Xbox One.
The system might not use its hard drive to support a media DVR, but it does have a game DVR that lets gamers record their gameplay and upload it in order to share the best moments of the game with others.
Microsoft also developed SmartGlass and will push that technology for the Xbox One.