With the flurry of new technology products being released in November, one thing's clear: the countdown to the holiday season starts now. The return of Nintendo with Wii U and Xbox's leap into digital music services has us excited to get settled in the living room and refresh our love of video gaming. So much so, in fact, that a movie about vintage arcade games rounds out our list of must haves for this final month of Fall.
Xbox will always be a home for Halo (4 coming soon!) buffs, but last week's Xbox Music launch and today's release of Xbox SmartGlass confirm the gaming console is switching gears to entertainment this holiday season.
With the SmartGlass app, phones, tablets, and computers control media on the Xbox 360. Users can move around the dashboard, pause/rewind movies, surf the Web through the TV display, and input text using their tablets and phones. The mobile device essentially becomes an interactive remote control, making it easier than ever to employ the Xbox 360 for nongaming purposes, like watching ESPN or HBO GO.
SmartGlass isn't called smart for nothing — it's an intelligent companion too. The app feeds devices more information about the TV show you're watching (like who plays Game of Thrones' Khaleesi) or real-time scoring from a game on a different channel.
The app is available starting today for Windows 8-compatible tablets and PCs, and within the next couple of months for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.
The music industry has reinvented itself more times than Madonna. First came records, then cassettes, then CDs, and the rest — legal downloading of MP3s, music subscription services, and free Internet radio — is history. But there weren't any options to combine all these new services until earlier this week, when Microsoft released Xbox Music, an all-in-one music platform.
Since there are already plenty of services you use to listen to music on the web, take a look at the reasons to make room for Microsoft's new music player in your online world.