When Microsoft launches its Windows 8 operating system on October 26, it will finally make Xbox compatible with a Windows operating system. Windows 8 will be shipping with applications compatible with a host of Xbox services such as Xbox Videos, Xbox Games and Xbox Games. Here is a list we have put together of features can expect from the Microsoft’s recent launch with respect to the Xbox Services.
Xbox Games on Windows 8
Angry Birds Starwars, and Fruit Ninja are going to among a host of other games that will now be playable on Windows 8 powered PCs, laptops and tablets. And the good news is that the gamer will be able to earn Achievements playing these games too. It is also worth mentioning that you would be able to play multiplayer games as well along with use Xbox gaming features such as leader-boards.
Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Videos
Microsoft will also launch the Xbox SmartGlass service along with the launch of Windows 8. It will allow (with a tab of a button we were informed) to send videos between Windows 8 compatible device to the Xbox.
For those of you who many not be aware what SmartGlass really is, here is a quick explanation.
SmartGlass is going to be launched as free application which will turn your Windows 8 powered devices into a second screen for the Xbox. You will not only be able to view the content being displayed on the Xbox but will have the ability to control it using your Windows 8 device as a remote, so to speak. The users will also be able to surf the internet via the web browser on the Xbox. And of course, using SmartGlass, the users will be able to control media on the Xbox via their Windows 8 device as well.
But among all the features of the SmartGlass app the handiest feature is perhaps that through this application you can view information and stats on your Windows 8 device about the content being played on the Xbox.
Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer For Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division has reportedly stated that during an upcoming NBA game, device users will be able to view match stats, player bio, records and news.
It gets even better with games. Using SmartGlass you might use your Windows 8 device as a controller, given that the game developer has enabled this feature.
Recently, Microsoft had demoed the features of SmartGlass with an untitled karaoke game. In this setup the worked pretty much as a karaoke remote with features to search and view songs and lyrics and the option to select the songs which are to be used in the karaoke.
Let’s talk a bit about Xbox Videos service under Windows 8. Not only will the Windows 8 users will be able to surf and buy content from the Xbox video store from their windows 8 device, they will be able to browse all PC-compatible Xbox game titles, something which Microsoft had not allowed to be accessed except from the Xbox device.
It is obvious that with making Windows 8 powered devices compatible with relatively new services such as Xbox Music, Microsoft is looking to have an impact on a market otherwise dominated by Apple’s iTunes and other such services. In fact it seems as though Microsoft wants to present the Xbox Music as Windows way of playing music. It should be noted that there will not be any restrictions on the use of other such services not owned by Microsoft.
With Xbox Music, you can enjoy your music, purchase tracks or discover new artists with a Windows 8 based PC, laptop or tablet.
Microsoft has branded Xbox as a compete entertainment unit and not just as a device to play games on for some time now and considering that Xbox has become one of Microsoft’s most popular products it is not surprising that Microsoft has included a set of features in the Windows 8 OS which enables greater interaction between the devices.
All in all, the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 seems to be packed with features to integrate it with the Xbox services. There is no need to mention that it opens a lot of doors for the app developers. I think it could be safely said that some interesting times are waiting for us post the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Operating System and the Xbox application SmartGlass.
Lastly, if you are an Android or an iOS user then Microsoft has some good news for you too. Microsoft will be releasing SmartGlass for your device as well in due course though they have said that the amount of control these devices will have via the SmartGlass app will depended on the device manufacturers.
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