In what they are calling the "future of entertainment search," Microsoft has announced Bing on Xbox, a new way to search your TV's guide for shows and movies, spanning broadcast TV, movie services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, even apps and Xbox games.
Bing on Xbox is part of the latest dashboard on Xbox and starts unrolling today. While the voice commands use the Xbox Kinect interface, users may still opt to use text search with either the Xbox controller or an add-on.
Of course, who wouldn't want to just say "Xbox, Bing X-Men," and have Bing search and display all the available entertainment options from games to any of the “X-Men” movies? Then, using the controller or Kinect voice commands to play and control whatever option you want to watch or play.
Bing on Xbox isn’t a traditional web search like you’re used to with Bing.com. It’s more of an entertainment search built specifically for the Xbox platform to help the system understand Xbox user intent.
A Bing spokesperson suggested to Search Engine Watch it is yet another way Bing is trying to move people "outside the search box." It is almost an extension of Bing, though the content you experience from Bing on Xbox isn’t accessible in the Bing web browser.
Bing on Xbox also isn’t an app, like Netflix or ESPN. It’s an integrated part of the Xbox dashboard experience. As such, it is available anywhere on the dashboard, including through Kinect voice commands.
The Bing channel on the dashboard will remain the separate web search tool.
“Initially, our focus will be on optimizing the living room entertainment experience and enabling search for content across Xbox, including movies, TV, apps, music and gaming," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "The use of Bing and the voice capabilities of Kinect certainly opens up a world of possibilities, but we have nothing further to share at this time regarding integrated web search. As additional content goes live, it’ll be incorporated into Bing on Xbox voice search.”
Bing on Xbox goes live in English only for the U.S., Canada, and the UK for Zone video, Xbox live Marketplace and about 10 content partners. Over 20 more partners are expected for later this month, including MSNBC.com, Verizon FiOS TV, iHeartRadio and numerous international content providers. Another round of International content partners including BBC and MLB.TV are slated for early 2012. Microsoft offers a larger list of content providers in their press release.
Are you an Xbox user? Will you use this? Is this a competitive edge Microsoft can gain over Google and the quiet Google TV service? Let us know your thoughts below.