Nipping on the heels of the announcement for an expanded library of television and movie content for the Xbox 360, Microsoft announced the Xbox Companion App for all Windows phones. This new application allows Windows phone owners to discover content through the interface and the app will be completely free once released. The primary function of the app allows users to locate games, music, movies and TV shows through access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace via the touchscreen interface. Similar in design to the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update, users can search through featured content on the marketplace or simply type in a search query to locate the media.
In addition to finding content to play or watch, the app allows users to learn more about the media. Users will find a plethora of information about the media such as the cast in a movie. Very similar to IMDB, users can simply tap the name of a cast member in a movie or television show and locate all associated content that’s available on Xbox Live. Once the user is done reading about the content, the app can be used to select the media and control moves to the Xbox 360. Through the app interface, the user can control video playback similar to a remote control for a Blu-ray player. Users can also opt for the normal Xbox 360 controller or Kinect and seamlessly switch between the two devices.
While no release date has been set for the Xbox Companion App, it’s likely to coincide with the release of the new Xbox 360 dashboard rumored to be available next month. There’s also no indication that the Xbox Companion App will be able to work directly for video playback with other popular applications on the Xbox 360 such as Hulu Plus, Netflix or the barrage of cable programming coming soon.
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