updated 06:36 pm EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
Over 35 more apps will appear on console, including ESPN
Microsoft is adding more content to the Xbox 360 in future updates, the company has announced. Over the next 12 months, the console will have more than 35 new content partners, offering more films and shows to watch and listen to. Xbox Music was also revealed as a marketplace on Windows 8-based devices as well as the Xbox 360, along with an expansion to the current sport-related offerings.
Sports network ESPN will be including 24-hour live programming through the WatchESPN app in the US, streaming ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, and ESPN U. Regional sports provider SPORT1 will perform a similar service in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Following on from the success of MLB.com, The NBA and NHL will add apps to stream out-of-market live games, highlights, replays and up-to-date statistics. Of the 35 content providers tat have been lined up for apps, 17 are destined for the US.
An additional 12 countries have been added to Bing voice search, with further imrpovements for existing users. Searching for a specific film or show will bring up a list of apps as sources, letting the user choose whichever is most appropriate. Content can also now be searched by genre and subject matter rather than just title.
Xbox Music, a replacement for the failed Zune service, will be launching on the console with 30 million songs available for download. Users can download tracks to the Xbox 360 as well as Windows 8, Windows Phone and other Windows 8-based tablets, with extra connectivity through SmartGlass. The Zune marketplace will probably continue to exist, as no replacement for film sales was mentioned, outside of the app updates.
Individual release dates were not mentioned for any of the updates, but based on previous experience, the bulk will likely be out before the holiday season.