TV and film fans in Britain could be using a programme guide powered by Microsoft’s Xbox One within months of its November launch, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
The gesture and voice controlled 'smart channel' will pull a number of content feeds, including live TV, video on demand and catch-up from existing providers, to create a one-stop aggregator that allows services like Sky and Netflix to seamlessly work on one TV.
Although at launch Xbox One will already allow live TV to “pass through” the device using an HDMI connection, as well as “snap” between TV, Internet, games and other entertainment services – the vision is to quickly create a seamless Xbox channel experience.
“Over time the vision is that we will be able to manipulate content with some of the magic we have on Xbox One,” UK Xbox Marketing director Harvey Eagle told RadioTimes.com.
“Eventually the vision is that we’ll have an Xbox One guide that aggregates all of the content feeds into one EPG that you can access using voice, using gestures. That’s one of the core features we’re looking to bring to Xbox One.”
So, Microsoft are going to create an Xbox channel in the UK, within the Xbox One console?
“That’s the right way to think about it. We’ll take all of the aggregated feeds from whatever the sources, be that your Sky box, Netflix or any other content providers available in the ecosystem – it’ll suck all that into one aggregated EPG – and that’s therefore the only place you need to go to pull it from all these different places.”
And so when might we see such nifty tech on the new console?
“I would think of it in terms of months not years”, said Eagles.
And although he wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not Xbox was developing a reboot of Blake’s 7 (it’s a no comment from the press team), Eagles was keen to stress the energy the company are putting into original productions.
“Netflix is a great example – with things they’ve done like House of Cards.
“We announced at E3 the Halo TV series – produced by Steven Spielberg. So again, over time the vision is that we also build content specifically for the platform.
“Halo’s the first original commission we’ve announced. We have a resource dedicated to that – so therefore there’ll be more to come.”