Microsoft this week will roll out a firmware update for the Xbox 360 Video game console which the company is calling the "Future of TV."
According to the software giant, the updated firmware will usher in a "new era in entertainment" giving Xbox owners "A single box that ties together all the content you want, made easily accessible through a universal, natural, voice-directed search."
So, is the new firmware really as earth shattering as Microsoft suggests? No, absolutely not. The new firmware adds new features and is a nice enhancement to the Xbox 360 interface but calling it the "Future of TV" is simple hyberbole.
What Xbox 360 users will get, however, is an improved interface, and a number of new video related applications and content partners. Xbox 360 users with Kinect will also get a cool new voice-control interface that let users retrieve content through voice and motion commands.
The new partners and apps, of which their are over 40 , will be unveiled on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Canadians, the number of new providers is quite limited. In addition to being quite limited, the Canadian content is already available through other sources.
New this week to Canada: a revised Netflix app which is hardly new for anyone with an Apple TV or other Netflix enabled device; and a Rogers on Demand app that lets Rogers Cable and Internet customers watch Video on demand (VOD) content currently available through their computer or digital cable set top box.
On the surface, The Rogers on Demand app appears to be a nice add for Rogers customers, who can now watch VOD content without having to buy another cable set top box. That is, until you realize that a $60 a year Xbox Live Gold subscription is also required. So, do you really want to pay an extra $5 a month to watch VOD content through your Xbox 360 when you already have a digital cable set top box connected to your television for that purpose?
Digital Home believes the 57 million Xbox 360 users will appreciate the new Xbox 360 firmware with its new functionality and new interface but is it really the "Future of TV"?. No, we don't think so either.
Discuss the new update in Digital Home's Video Gaming discussion forum .