Earlier today you probably spotted the big, big news from our pals over on the Xbox team. They’re bringing a new world of entertainment to your living room and making it faster, funner (yes, that’s right, funner) and easier to find. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend checking out the killer video that shows all of the new things that will be possible with an Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and Kinect in your living room.
Watch that video closely and you’ll notice that around the 1 minute mark, the girl in the striped shirt pulls out a Windows Phone and starts to search for content that magically appears on her Xbox. What she’s using is the insanely awesome (but still not quite available) Xbox Companion App. The app, which will be completely free for Windows Phone users, is an amazing little tool that will let you Find, Learn more about and Control content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace on your Xbox 360.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a beta copy of the app to try out with my Xbox and I have to say that it’s really impressive. Here’s an actual scenario I ran through with the app and my Xbox the other day:
- Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
- Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infiniteroad of interactive content.
- Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote.
By now, you probably want to know more and find out when the Xbox Companion app will become available. Rest assured that it’s coming soon and that when it gets here, it’ll be a free download for Windows Phone customers. You can be sure that when it’s baked, I’ll be back with a full video review of the app.