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E3 2011: Microsoft outlines planned entertainment functionality for Xbox 360 – Bing, YouTube, Xbox Live TV

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Xbox 360 Console (Smaller) During Microsoft’s E3 press conference, general manager of Xbox Live Marc Whitten made some exciting announcements about the new entertainment features which will be included in the 360 dashboard update this fall (i.e. fourth quarter).

Kinect will play a major role in streamlining your entertainment experience, as you’ll be able to search the entire Xbox Live marketplace (including Netflix, Zune and Hulu Plus) simply by using your voice.

Microsoft’s Bing search engine will handle the rest, and you’ll no doubt have plenty of entertainment options at your disposal when the results come in.

YouTube will also be coming to Xbox Live, although nothing was shown during the press conference indicating how it would be adapted to integrate with the 360’s dashboard.

This begs the questions whether having YouTube on Xbox Live will undermine the Marketplace, as people will now be able to stream music videos for free on their Xboxes and therefore have little need to purchase them off Zune.

Youtube Logo

Perhaps the most awesome news to come from this bit of the press conference is that Microsoft is significantly ramping up its partnership with various broadcasters to bring Xbox Live TV to 360 users (most likely the service will be exclusive to Gold members).

There is a brief moment during the press conference (embedded below) where you see the words “My DVR” on the dashboard – surely indicative of being able to use your harddrive to record live TV. 250 GB suddenly looks like an inadequate number…

I’m eager to try out the new dashboard for myself towards the end of the year, and see just how much of this entertainment goodness is available to us South Africans.

The New Xbox Experience Demonstration

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