Most of the launch day entertainment apps for the Xbox Series X and S consoles have been confirmed.
It’s Microsoft’s turn to reveal it’s hand in its imminent consoles’ support of entertainment apps, and there’s no weird remote in sight… disappointingly.
A US-centric list reveals the following for launch: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Spotify, YouTube, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, NBC Peacock, Vudu, FandangoNow, Twitch, Sky Go, NOW TV, Sky Ticket “and more,” apparently. Frustratingly, the more will have to remain a mystery for now.
I suspect the “more” will likely still include the popular anime-streaming service Crunchyroll, in spite of an imminent acquisition by Sony for an astonishing $957m.
Like the PlayStation 5, it certainly now includes the new Apple TV app, which will itself support Apple TV channels. That’s a collection of apps within an app. Down the rabbit hole we go.
And again, it’s not very relevant outside of the US, but like the PS5, the consoles are getting an HBO Max app too. As I previously wrote, even Roku and Amazon Fire devices don’t have that yet.
They also tout the markedly improved speeds of the Microsoft store to access all of these, saying it’s both “twice as fast” and launches in “about two seconds.”
An “entertainment block” will be automatically pinned to your home screen. There’s no mention of whether the apps are already downloaded and immediately available as on the PS5, though.
The consoles also seem built for streaming, presumably originally for the now dead Mixer service, with the Xbox Series X supporting 4K, 60FPS streaming/recording. 4K streaming is currently only possible on YouTube. Similar Twitch app integration to the PS5’s should be possible.
I’m usually not one to use a console for entertainment outside of games, but the blog post does mention some features that might sweeten the deal. They promise “fuller colors, enhanced dynamic range,” and “spatial sound” leveraging Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
Sounds like an ace smart box I’m sure we can all agree. What’s a video game again?