Voice interface has been on the market for some time, but probably never on such a large scale as announced by Microsoft on Monday during its E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference in Los Angeles. Improvements soon to be brought to Xbox Live include much more live TV and full YouTube access, all easily voice searched via Kinect and the Bing search engine. There's also something for mixed martial arts fans.
According to Microsoft, Bing offers the best solution for searching for anything that Xbox Live service can offer, and searching soon will be as easy as saying the name of the required content. For example, saying "Halo" will bring up anything that is available to download or stream that is associated with the Halo series. The technology is Kinect-powered, so the sensor ad-on will be a must.
There are not many details regarding the new live television service, apart from Microsoft's announcement that ensures its "commitment to expand access to live television programming on Xbox 360." Xbox Live has already offered access to Sky TV in the UK, Canal+ in France and FOXTEL in Australia. More TV providers are on the way, Microsoft says. MMA (mixed martial arts) fans can celebrate, as Microsoft teamed up with Ultimate Fighting Championship (an MMA promotion company) and plans to bring lots of fighting-themed content (such as live matches, classic fights, interviews or behind-the-scenes footage).
Microsoft continues to expand video streaming services for Xbox Live with YouTube (in full version) soon joining Hulu Plus, Netflix and Zune, which were already offered for Xbox users. Finally, Microsoft also announced some changes made to the visual aspects of the user interface.
New Xbox Live TV services will be available this Fall (Northern Hemisphere).