Windows Phone just keeps getting better and making itself more important to Microsoft’s ecosystem, as well as introducing itself to new potential users. Today brings the announcement of another great addition:
The Xbox Companion App
This is a Windows Phone app that will allow you to Find, Learn & Control media on your Xbox console directly from your Windows Phone device!!!
The app isn’t yet available but Ben over on the Windows Team blog has had a play with the beta and gives us some great insight:
- Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
- Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
- Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote.
This is going to be pretty amazing in so many ways. It will make interacting with the Xbox much easier and also quite futuristic – which is always good! This coupled with the just announced Xbox TV is going to cause a radical shift in the way that people view the Xbox 360 console…no longer just for gaming but a true centrepiece of the living room, a real multimedia hub for the home.
The only reason I have EVER looked on enviously at a PS3 is for the LOVEfilm streaming and now we’ve got that, plus a whole bunch of other services so a real stake in the heart for Sony!
The other side to this is this will surely get the millions of Xbox users looking at Windows Phone devices in a whole new light too. Maybe it doesn’t have a few of the apps you’re used to on your iPhone…BUT IT CONTROLS YOUR XBOX!!!