As the technology world keenly awaits further updates (and soon, a Release Candidate) of Windows 8, the software maker is seemingly focused on a big push with regards to Xbox and Kinect. As well as the purported Kinect Play Fit package, which would place stronger emphasis on Kinect’s fitness and well-being prowess, the Redmond-based outfit is said to be testing a modded version of Internet Explorer 9 on the Xbox 360 console.
Sources of TheVerge believe Microsoft’s new port of Internet Explorer browser for Xbox will be a lot more functional than the desktop version we’ve all come to know, and love in some cases. It’s no secret Microsoft sees its console as the future for all-round family entertainment as opposed to simply a gaming hub, and the browser will allow Xbox users to surf the web from the comfort of the living area.
There will be deep integration with Kinect gestures and voice control to the experience, continues the report, with Xbox users harboring the ability to quickly make a web search utilizing the existing Bing functionality. While the browser is finely tuned to support the Kinect sensor, owning one is not a necessity, so those without the revolutionary device will still be able to surf.
The iPad has been frequently lauded for its convenient web browsing, and while the Xbox will never be able to compete in terms of portability, the option to quickly launch IE and look something up while on the console is certainly something that will appeal to the masses.
Microsoft has just launched its Xbox+Kinect subscription package, which offers Xbox LIVE Gold membership for $99 up-front and $14.99 a month over a two year period, and for those previously on the fence, unwilling to shell out a lump sum in advance, the deal will certainly help put more consoles in homes.
With extensive browsing capabilities – along with a host of improvements expected to be touched on at this year’s E3 conference, the latter half of 2012 looks favorable for a console which already commands the number one spot over rival Sony’s PlayStation. With the Kinect also holding the enviable title as the fastest selling gadget in history, Microsoft will be looking to cash in and yield as many new adopters as possible before it introduces the next generation of each device respectively.