Microsoft has created a new Xbox One app that it hopes will convince you to watch the 2014 World Cup through the console.
First up is OneGuide, coming to the UK in June, which allows Xbox One users to more easily control the TV output through the console, providing a program guide so you can watch hot, hot shows such as Hairy Bikers’ Best of British on BBC One HD, or popular imports like Ex on the Beach and Extreme Couponing. And what about the students who, after blowing their loan on a new console last year, can now relax after a hard day’s work at 4pm by switching to Deal or No Deal using nothing but voice commands.
You’ll also be able to display results from certain apps in the OneGuide feed, such as Amazon TV, OneDrive, or Twitch. Those with a Kinect in the UK will be able to use voice commands to switch channels with OneGuide, too, and Microsoft says the service will support “most” set-top boxes when plugged into the Xbox One’s HDMI pass-through.
The OneGuide has been available to Xbox One owners in the US since the console launched last November. While the service was originally touted to customers as a major reason to use the Kinect peripheral, OneGuide will launch in the UK within days of Microsoft releasing a Kinect-free Xbox One for £349.99.
You'll be able to pump the TV signal for World Cup matches through the Xbox One, then, but why would you? Microsoft hopes to answer that with Brazil Now, which is essentially a snap application that provides you with notifications every time a match starts, a goal is scored, and the final whistle is blown. These notifications pop-up as if you were getting an Achievement, and users can then slide open the app to check out more information.
Brazil Now will also allow you to select your team (England) and will then tailor its information to that choice. If you’re playing Watch Dogs when England is inevitably knocked out of the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout, for instance, you’ll be able to get all sorts of information, alongside a feed of Twitter updates, about what’s going on. The app also features a live polling system, and taking part in the questions will slowly unlock a series of three cards for each of the teams taking part, culminating in 96 collectible that will eventually reveal the team photo for each squad in the tournament.
Brazil Now will also slot into Destination Brazil, a new tile that will sit on the Xbox One dashboard for the duration of the tournament. Destination Brazil will serve as an aggregator for World Cup content, Microsoft says, and will house its eight-part Xbox Orginal series Every Street United, a partnership with YouTube football channel Copa 90. You’ll also be able to switch straight to games currently underway if you’ve got your set-top box hooked up to the console.
The June Xbox One update will also bring support for real names and external storage, and Microsoft is aiming to release the update towards the start of the month. Presumably before June 12, when the World Cup begins.
|Martin Gaston is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @squidmania|
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