Microsoft stole the spotlight at the E3 videogame trade show in Los Angeles on Monday by unveiling a number of initiatives for its Xbox 360 gaming console, including a Live TV service and another edition of its hallmark "Halo" game.
"This is the year live television comes to Xbox," said Microsoft corporate VP of Xbox Live Marc Whitten, according to PC World. "Watch live television on your Xbox, including news, sports, and your favorite local channels."
Microsoft said that the Xbox Live TV offering will be made possible through partnerships with domestic and foreign broadcasters, but failed to provide any specifics. The software giant currently has partnerships SkyTV in the U.K., Canal Plus in France and Foxtel in Australia, according to Gigaom. YouTube has also recently signed on as a partner.
Whitten said that Xbox Live would increase its number of content providers ten-fold in the coming year. Live TV will launch later this fall.
In addition to Live TV, Microsoft showed a first sneak peek into the fourth iteration of its highly popular Halo game. Halo 4 will set the stage for a new trilogy of games starring the series' hero, Master Chief. Microsoft also unveiled a renovated version of the original "Halo: Combat Evolved," which came out 10 years ago this November. The company also gave attendees a taste of "Gears of War 3," "Forza 4" and "Modern Warfare 3," among other soon-to-be-released games.
Several new titles will provide support for the new Kinect motion controller, including "Disneyland Adventures," "Fable: The Journey," and a second season of "Kinect Sports," according to the AP.
Finally, Microsoft announced that its Bing search engine will soon be integrated with Xbox 360. Users will be able to navigate through internal menus and search for games and online programming using only voice commands.
"This is our vision for the future of TV—effortless, approachable, because TV is more amazing when you are the controller," Whitten said.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Rich Steeves
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