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Control Your Xbox With Your Phone

| 6 Oct 2011 17:01
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If your controller, Kinect, and universal media remote are out of reach, there's still one more way to navigate media on your 360.

Microsoft is bending over backwards to make the Xbox 360 as user-friendly as possible, so get ready for another feature to make Xbox navigation foolproof. Today, Microsoft announced the Xbox Companion app for Windows 7 Phones, which will allow users to control media on their 360s without ever having to pick up a controller (or gesture, or use a remote).

The Xbox Companion app promises a three-tiered approach to navigating content: Find, Learn, and Control. Like the 360 dashboard, the Xbox Companion app allows users to search for music, movies, and TV, or choose from a list of featured titles. The "Learn" segment suggests an IMDB-like experience, where users can discover actors' filmographies, similar titles, and production details. Finally, the app automatically activates the desired content on the 360, allowing the user to put the phone down and simply watch or listen.

Longtime gamers may be confused by this app, as it serves a function that at least three other peripherals already fulfill. However, as Susan Arendt was quick to point out, a controller is a sophisticated piece of technology with a lot of unfamiliar buttons. Not every Xbox comes with a Kinect. A universal media remote costs extra money. Many users don't have Windows 7 Phones, either, but those who do already know how to use them. For these consumers, using their phones to turn a game console into an entertainment center is easier than learning a whole new button configuration. When it releases ("soon," according to Microsoft), the app will be free, so jaded controller-junkies and hardened Kinectophiles can give it a sound thrashing (or be pleasantly surprised) at no charge.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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