While not live yet (you’ll have to wait for the fall update) the new features announced for XBOX 360 will make it the best alternative to cable subscription, so if you are thinking to cut your cable cord, XBOX 360 might be the choice platform for you. Let’s go a little bit in detail for each new features announced during today’s E3 event:
- Redesigned XBOX 360 interface – Microsoft will change the current XBOX 360 Dashboard to one using METRO style (based on tiles), similar with Windows Phone 7 UI
- Voice search using Bing / Kinect controller – it is true, Bing Search will find its way to XBOX 360 and will enable media search using your own voice. You’ll be able to search for a movie / video / TV Show and XBOX 360 will find it from a variety of video services, including Netflix, Hulu, Zune, YouTube or the web
- YouTube – yep, it will be part of XBOX Live experience
- Live TV (no new partners announced in US) but UK Sky is a go. Also, Canal+ in France.
- UFC – access fighter profiles, training videos, watch live weigh-ins and even order pay-per-view events on the XBOX 360
As you can imagine, all the new features will require Live Gold, but let’s be honest – those $4 / month seem more and more worthwhile.
Personally, I cut the cable cord long time ago and I cannot be happier. My wife actually mentioned that since we don’t have a cable subscription anymore we are watching more TV. The combination Netflix / Hulu Plus takes care of all our needed shows, VUDU for newer movies and clear QAM tuners / Windows Media Center server take care of our local channels. And recording the shows on the server while watching them via connected XBOX 360 units acting as extenders works really well.
See Microsoft’s full Press Release after the break…