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:
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:
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.