Xbox One will launch with 19 entertainment apps in the U.S. on Nov. 22
First there was the hardware, then the games, now come the apps.
Also set to deliver content will be Sony’s Crackle, TED, MUZU TV, Verion FiOS TV, Twitch and the already announced Machinima and NFL.
Networks with apps to appear on the Xbox One are CWTV, ESPN, Fox Now, Univision Deportes and FXNow, while HBO Go is forthcoming.
Some countries will feature more localized apps like Eurosport, Blinkbox, Amazon/Lovefilm and Wuaki.tv in the U.K.; Muu, Saraiva Player and SporTV in Brazil; and La TV d’Orange and M6 TV in France.
Sony this week announced a similar lineup of apps to bow on the PlayStation 4 on Nov. 15.
Since the Xbox 360 was introduced, Microsoft has positioned the console as more than just a videogame device, and more as a hub for all forms of entertainment. As the popularity of streaming services has increased, so too have consoles as another digital platform for movies, TV shows and music.
“We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox’s chief product officer in a blog post on Friday. “The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps. Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”
The apps had to be designed specifically for the next-generation console and include voice and gesture controls through the Kinect sensor. Movies, TV shows, games and music can still be searched through Bing, although the engine has also been updated.
Many of the apps will offer up “achievements” — the ability to reward a viewer for watching programming, for example — and what Xbox calls “Snap,” a split screen mode that enables a game and live TV to be played simultaneously in a split screen format.
The Xbox One will also offer up live programming guides and content offerings from apps through the OneGuide, which can also display personal photos and videos from the SkyDrive.