Last week when Microsoft posted that the "Xbox = entertainment" they really weren't lying. Today's E3 2011 Microsoft Event proved just that as they dove in to all of the media, social and Kinect aspects of the Xbox 360 that will definitely keep the console in the living room for years to come.
Microsoft's Marc Whitten took the stage to make it known that the television needed a new voice: yours. The goal was to keep the technology out of the way while still being able to enjoy the content you want. To help the cause, the Xbox 360 will feature a New Xbox Experience dashboard that looks absolutely stunning and explains why the small refresh a few months back had the tiles looking clunky. Instead of a shuffling of menus to navigate through, you can simply use your voice to pull up Games, Music, Movies and TV with ease.
For more on what's going to keep you entertained well into next year, click the break.
Whitten pointed out that Microsoft intends to "increase number of partnerships by a factor of 10." We then were told that the 360 would have YouTube coming to Xbox LIVE, which has everybody and their mom excited, but we all know that a six minute 1080p video will take sixteen hours to buffer.
However, the focus is to have "all the entertainment you want, made easy". How does Xbox achieve that? With the addition of Bing, of course. With Bing coming to Xbox, you say it and Xbox finds it. Xbox will search through all media partners, downloaded content and Xbox material to find the stuff you are looking for. Searching for X-Men? Any game, movie or TV show appears without even having to reach for a keyboard to type a search in. Just use your voice and let Kinect do the work for you.
The New Xbox Experience will be coming in the fall, but that's not all. Whitten then shocked everyone when he said that Live TV will be coming to Xbox LIVE. We even saw tiles for DVR and DVR settings! Awesome. The Xbox 360 keeps showing how you can make entertainment truly an interactive experience but not make it painful to execute and enjoy.
I was even almost interested in UFC after learning I could order the Pay-Per-View on Xbox, watch it with my friends, watch clips, predict the winner, participate in polls and check my scores against a leaderboard.
Despite all the talk that Xbox was going to stray completely away from the games this year, they didn't. While entertainment was a strong point in the presentation, it was focused on that, games and Kinect, and about how all three worked perfectly with each other to let the Xbox 360 become an enjoyable electronic device for any and all age groups in the family.
I wouldn't be surprised, however, if we see the Xbox non-game usage reach 50% or more by the end of the year. What do you think? We want to know and to tell us, chat with us live in the studio tonight at 9PM ET on PLuGHiTz Live! Radio.