At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced a bundle of blockbuster games led by Halo 4 and also unveiled new content and entertainment experiences for Xbox LIVE and smart devices (PCs, tablets and phones) including: Xbox SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for Xbox, and new TV, movie and music offerings.
Mehdi notes, that since 2005, Microsoft has sold 67 million Xbox 360 consoles and "currently has 40 million Xbox LIVE customers." The company has also "sold 19 million Kinects, the hands-free and voice controller that works with the console," he said.
"Seven years in and with a 47 percent share of the console market in the U.S., Xbox 360 has truly hit its stride and become a centerpiece in the living room," Mehdi says.
Mehdi adds, that more people now use Xbox to watch movies than they do to play games. Xbox LIVE subscribers "spend an average of 84 hours per month on the console."
Xbox SmartGlass. Launching this year, is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with Xbox 360 console to make entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.
"SmartGlass takes all of your devices and first makes them all work together, and second works in concert with your Xbox to unleash a whole bunch of new scenarios," Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing officer for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business says. "Imagine being on the couch and watching a show or a game and having your tablet suddenly light up with information, and as things occur in the show, the tablet updates. It's really, really cool."
The intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass makes your entertainment more engaging, Web surfing more effortless, and playing games more immersive by delivering companion content and control to enhance your TV experience.
Mehdi says, though the SmartGlass app will also support other major platforms, it's "going to be best on Windows 8 devices."
Microsoft this fall in "all countries" where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox.
Microsoft says, that through Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass, and voice on Xbox 360, you can better explore and controll your favorite websites on TV with a swipe, pinch or zoom on a tablet or phone's touchscreen.
"In the past when people have tried to put a Web browser on the TV, the experience has always been difficult to navigate," says Lisa Worthington, senior public relations manager for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. "You need to have something to input text easily, but keyboards and mice don't really belong in the living room and using a remote is awkward." With SmartGlass, people can now use their phone or tablet to type text, pinch and zoom, and even pin their favorite sites directly to the Xbox dashboard.
Entertainment Keeps Getting Better on Xbox
Bing voice search on Xbox is expanding to 12 additional countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland. Also, voice search is enhanced by adding genre filter
Microsoft also announced more sports experiences and content coming to Xbox this year including: NBA Game Time with NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.) and NBA League Pass (outside of the U.S.); NHL GameCenter LIVE (Worldwide except Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden); and ESPN (U.S.) will bring 24/7 live programming through WatchESPN from ESPN Networks - ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U.
Xbox also announced regional sports provider SPORT1 coming later this year to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
"Xbox LIVE already has more than 200,000 pieces of content available in movies, television, music, sports and fitness, many of which can be searched and powered by your voice or gestures with the power of Kinect. "We want more content for more people, all made better with Xbox, Xbox LIVE and Kinect," Dennis says.
Microsoft revealed that "more than 35 newTV content partners launching on Xbox over the next 12 months."
Xbox Music: Zune re-branding, Microsoft showed a sneak peek of Xbox Music, an all-new music service coming to Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8-based devices-will bring the best of popular existing services to one place, letting the customer purchase music or subscribe to music on the console - and also on any cloud-connected device.
"It's the music service we've always dreamed of building, so it will really be the best of download-to-own or subscription music," Mehdi says. "You'll be able to personalize and share with your friends, and best of all, discover new music and integrate it with your Windows 8 PC, tablet and phone."
Xbox on Windows 8: You can play games with friends and earn achievements, listen to music, and enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies wherever you go. And with Xbox SmartGlass, you can start a movie or TV show on your Windows 8 device and finish it on the big-screen TV.
"This year Xbox will bring premium entertainment experiences to more than 180 new countries around the world when Xbox on Windows 8 launches, featuring four Metro-style apps: Video, Music, Games and Xbox SmartGlass," Microsoft said.
Also, announced today is a robust lineup of new Xbox 360 games, including a new installment of the "Halo 4", and the return of Master Chief, as well as new titles from the Forza, Fable, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Madden and other epic franchises.
There will be new games for Kinect, such as TV show-inspired "South Park," "Lazer," the new "Dance Central" installment, and a round of newly Kinect-enabled games such as "Splinter Cell." Full list here.
Microsoft also entered into a partnership with Nike, unveiling "Nike+ Kinect Training," an exclusive new home fitness program. The custom program, created by some of Nike's top athlete trainers, is specially designed to help athletes of all levels achieve their fitness goals in the comfort of their own homes.