Yesterday, Xbox LIVE Director of Programming Larry Hryb, announced via his pseudo blog Major Nelson that the company had launched new entertainment apps in the US, UK and parts of Europe. This latest batch comes part of Microsoft’s concerted effort to make Xbox the go-to device for users in terms of media streaming and viewing.
Full details on Major Nelson’s blog post reveal the US will receive Rhapsody and Blip.TV. Rhapsody is a music database app that allows users to compile personalised playlists and share content with one another. Blip.TV is an app that gives users access to a host of web-based series and episodes.
Canada will now have access to IGN and TOU.TV. IGN will offer gaming and tech news updates as well as exclusive content for users, TOU.TV is a french-based entertainment app. The UK and Germany will receive LOVEFiLM UK and LOVEFiLM Deutschland respectively, another movie streaming app. The final addition sees RTL XL launching in the Netherlands, another language specific entertainment app.
The post also details (very discreetly, I might add) that Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers will incur fees for these new services, an obvious but necessary addition.
Xbox revamped its SmartGlass interface on late October of this year, in order to showcase the increased functionality and cross-platform enhancements made to its Windows 8/Phone 8 OS’. From what we can surmise, Xbox will soon have a strong enough media base to launch a dedicated set-top box as rumours have seemed to indicate. We only trust that this will not be the extent of the manufacturers hardware releases as a next-gen Xbox would certainly be a welcome addition.