Microsoft is making plans to offer the video-on-demand app, HBO GO; the microblogging service, Twitter; and the video segment broadcast application, Vine by the end of 2014. Users will then have a new feature when watching TV through their Xbox One. Users can opt to watch a program with a “Watch With Twitter” app which displays tweets related to the movie or television show on screen. Shows will also be highlighted if they are “trending.”
Vice President of Platform and Business Development at Twitter, Jana Messerschmidt, said that it will now be easier to discover shows trending in real-time, tune in and contribute to the conversation. The statement did not say whether or not users will be able to tweet directly from their Xbox One. Twitter’s video app, Vine, will also be made available to the console, allowing users to browse for their favorite channels and to watch Vines.
Corporate Vice President of Devices and Studios at Microsoft, Yusuf Mehdi, said that gaming enthusiasts are spending more time on their consoles than ever – an average of five hours a day. He continued to say that as they show their commitment to their dozens of partners, they hit an important milestone in Microsoft’s goal to deliver unique experiences on the Xbox One, and that the company is ecstatic to break new ground in social TV experiences. Microsoft stated that by allowing users to both tweet and view tweets during the program, commercial breaks will become opportunities to share your ideas and opinions.
Aside from Vine and Twitter, the Xbox One is also poised to receive HBO GO. The channel has been made popular by HBO’s critically acclaimed series Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep and others. Users will also be able to look at live Twitter feeds while watching programs on this app. Microsoft has stated how excited they are that gamers will be able to become more connected to and have more conversations within the community.
Microsoft recently dropped the requirement to be a “Gold” member in order to use entertainment apps. Users can access these new features without paying the $60 a year subscription fee. The news that Xbox One plans to offer Vine, Twitter and HBO GO also came with the announcement of a slew of entertainment apps that will be made available throughout this year. The new apps include: Comedy Central, Crunchyroll, Encore, Epix, Fox, Frightflix, FX NOW, Gol TV, GoPro, iHeartRadio, Infinity, MLG, MOVIEPLEX Play, MTV, NBA, NHL, Now TV, Picturebox, Showtime Anytime, Sky News, STARZ Play, Syfy Now, USA Now, VEO, Vevo, VH1, Watch Abc, and Watch Disney.
The selection of entertainment apps reflect Microsoft’s original plan with the Xbox One to make the console more than a gaming system, but rather a complete entertainment system that is capable of replacing cable boxes and television subscriptions. Microsoft’s partners who agreed to the inclusion of their apps expressed their excitement to have their products reach a broader environment. No specific month has been given for the release of these apps on the Xbox One.
By Andres Loubriel