Xbox Entertainment Launching On Windows 8 PCs This Friday

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Xbox is no longer associated with just gaming. Microsoft is uniting all of its entertainment choices under the same brand. Those entertainment choices are launching in earnest later this week as Windows 8 is made available to the general public on Friday.

Xbox Entertainment has already rolled out to some users in the form of a dashboard update on the Xbox 360. That update is now coming to the remainder of Xbox Live members on October 23. To recap, the big updates include the addition of Internet Explorer and Xbox Video. For more details on the update, check out our previous coverage.

Going beyond the Xbox 360, Windows 8 PCs will get Xbox Entertainment choices starting day one on Friday. Here's what Windows 8 PC users can expect going in:

  • Xbox Games. Xbox Games for Windows 8 will bring many of the games you already know and love, like Angry Birds Starwars, Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja and more. These games will be playable on any Windows 8 PC, laptop or tablet. All Xbox games for Windows 8 will allow you to earn the Achievements that you we know you love; and many will also take advantage of other Xbox features, including leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and connecting with friends.
  • Xbox Music. Xbox Music is a brand-new service, built from the ground up, to meet all your music needs across your tablet, PC, Phone and TV. Xbox Music is the ultimate all-in-one music service, featuring free music streaming on Windows 8 tablets and PCs, download to own, subscription, artist-based radio, plus comprehensive discovery from one of the world’s largest music catalogs.
  • Xbox Video. Xbox Video is a first run video service offering tens of thousands of movies and TV shows for buying or renting in HD.
  • Perhaps the most important announcement is that Xbox SmartGlass will be launching on Friday as well. Announced at E3, Xbox SmartGlass is Microsoft's attempt to bridge the divide between mobile devices and game consoles. With SmartGlass, users can control specific in-game functions from their Windows 8 tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android. Users can also use SmartGlass for Xbox Video and Music controls.

    Here's the list of compatible games, sports and entertainment apps that will have SmartGlass support on Friday:


  • Ascend
  • Dance Central 3
  • Forza Horizon
  • Halo Waypoint
  • Home Run Stars
  • Karaoke
  • Kinect Sesame Street TV
  • Prima Games
  • Sports:

  • ESPN
  • NBA Game Time
  • UFC
  • Entertainment Apps:

  • Elections 2012
  • HBO GO
  • MSN
  • NBC News
  • NOW TV
  • Slacker Radio
  • Univision
  • As time goes on, Microsoft will undoubtedly make more services compatible with SmartGlass. It's the best competition the Wii U faces at the moment. Now we just have to wait and see if Nintendo's TVii service can one up SmartGlass. Let the second screen wars begin.

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