Xbox One TV, SmartGlass Updates Previewed


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Last year's Xbox One unveiling was widely ridiculed in gaming circles. The announcement focused on the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment platform rather than a gaming machine. The presentation focused heavily on the console's TV capabilities, as shown in the now-infamous video that collect's all of the presentation's mentions of the passive medium.

Since that time, Microsoft has listened to consumers, ditching its always-on DRM plans for the console and doubling down on the Xbox One as a video game console. As part of this effort, Microsoft has been very forthcoming about its Xbox One updates over the past few months. The company has released two large updates in the past few weeks bringing everything from friends list improvements to party chat fixes to the console just in time for Microsoft's big Titanfall launch.

That doesn't mean, however, that Microsoft is abandoning the all-in-one motto that the Xbox One was designed around. The company today previewed yet another update, this one bringing more TV capabilities to the console.

The first big feature is coming to all Xbox and Windows platforms. Consumers will soon be able to rent or buy movies via Xbox Video and watch it over any screen that can use the service. Movie playback will be synched across Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8,, and Windows Phone 8 platforms.

The Xbox One platform itself will soon be getting an update that brings updates to the console's OneGuide TV listings. The new software will also enable users to control their DVR more fully through the Xbox One interface, including the ability to set and watch recordings. Users in Europe and Canada will also soon see TV listings added to their OneGuide.

Also coming to the Xbox One is updated support for the SmartGlass platform. The update will allow users to use a mobile device as a universal remote or to control the OneGuide through SmartGlass software.

Some of these Xbox One features will be available today to users who signed up for Microsoft's Xbox One software beta testing initiative announced in February. The updates will roll out to the wider Xbox One market shortly thereafter.